Third time lucky for CSA chief

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Today the third chief executive of the controversial Child Support Agency in four years will take up her post. Faith Boardman, a career civil servant, is also the third woman to hold the post following Ros Hepplewhite and Ann Chant.

Mrs Boardman, who was appointed by Peter Lilley, Secretary of State for Social Security, last month, is the former chief executive of the Contributions Agency, responsible for 10,000 staff, an annual budget of pounds 240m and for collecting pounds 42bn of National Insurance contributions.

Ms Chant resigned last November. She was credited with saving the agency from collapse but faced constant difficulties after replacing Ms Hepplewhite in 1994 at the height of controversy over the CSA's performance.

Mrs Boardman will be paid around pounds 80,000. Her contract is for five years.

After graduating from Oxford she joined HM Customs and Excise and in 1989 she was appointed Customs and Excise Collector for central London, responsible for 600 staff and for gathering a major portion of the department's revenue from VAT. She was made chief executive of the Contributions Agency. She is married with two children.