Her appointment, made yesterday by Peter Lilley, the Secretary of State for Social Security, comes four months after the previous head of the agency, Ann Chant, resigned.
Like her predecessor, Mrs Boardman is a career civil servant. She will be paid around pounds 80,000, including a performance bonus.
After graduating with a degree in history from Oxford she joined HM Customs and Excise. In April 1995, she was appointed chief executive of the Contributions Agency, which collects national insurance contributions.
Ms Chant resigned last November. She was credited with saving the agency from collapse, but faced constant difficulties after replacing Ros Hepplewhite in 1994 at the height of controversy over the CSA's performance.
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