Royal Armouries suspends chief over auditing matter

Jonathon Riley awaits outcome of a review
Profile image for Gareth Harris
Gareth Harris
The Royal Armouries insists that its accounts for 2010-2011 have “not been in question at any stage” following the suspension of lieutenant-general Jonathon Riley as director-general over an auditing matter.

A statement read: “[Riley] is under temporary suspension, pending the outcome of a review of issues raised by our auditors.”

A spokeswoman for the Royal Armouries declined to comment on the timescale for the review.

Following his appointment in 2009, Riley described the Royal Armouries post as his “dream job”. He had previously served in the British army for 36 years and commanded Nato troops in Afghanistan.

Riley joined the Royal Armouries following the resignation of Paul Evans, who had previously been suspended pending an internal investigation into “potential irregularities” at the museum.

The investigation stalled after Evans was signed off sick and became too unwell to attend formal hearings.

Andrew Scott, who was previously the director of the National Museum of Science and Industry, has been appointed interim chief executive in May.

The Royal Armouries suffered a 15% cut in its grant-in-aid funding from April 2011, with its budget slashed by £4.4m until 2015.

The annual salary of Riley, who was responsible for financial matters as the formal accounting officer, is £95,000.

Meanwhile, the Royal Armouries is still in talks about establishing semi-permanent galleries at venues in North America.

Negotiations began last year with the National Museum of the United States Army in Washington, DC, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (Museums Journal, July 2011, p7).

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