Detailed guide: Government Debt Management Function GDMF

Cabinet Office

April 8
14:32 2021

About GDMF

The Government Debt Management Function was established in 2017 to provide strong functional leadership at the centre of government, with the right technical expertise. Our vision is to create fair debt outcomes for all.

Good debt management is a key part of achieving the governments objectives for fiscal policy. When debt does arise, the government needs to deal with it efficiently and effectively.

The GDMF supports c.8000 people that work on debt management across government, engaging across 20+ Ministerial departments, their ALBs, and local authorities.

What we do

The Government Debt Management Function works to improve the management of government debt, which is set to increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Interventions by the GDMF will limit the impact the COVID-19 fiscal stimulus measures will have on the rising government debt balance. It will also help maximise the income to HMT in line with the Cabinet Office purpose to improve the efficiency of government.

Government Debt Strategy

The GDMF collaboratively developed and implemented the 2017 to 2020 Government Debt Strategy to create a more consistent strategic approach to government debt management and resolution, delivering savings.

The 2020 to 2023 strategy builds on this, outlining the governments aim to fine tune its approach to debt resolution.

The Debt Functional Standard

The Debt Functional Standard was developed to set expectations for the management and resolution of debt owed to government organisations, helping achieve a consistent strategic approach and improve capability across government. Continuous improvement is driven through assessing organisational maturity against the Debt Functional Standard.

Debt Centre of Excellence

The Debt Centre of Excellence (DCoE) is a single point of access to professional and value for money debt services, and a central resource for information and advice.

The DCoE supports Functional Leads to ensure government debt management capabilities are maximised, balancing this against the need to support vulnerable customers.

The GDMF is committed to building debt functional capability by professionalising debt management. This future vision includes recognising debt as a specialism and assuring professional standards through the delivery of bespoke accredited learning programmes.

Fairness Principles and Call for Evidence

The GDMF established the Fairness Group in 2016 to recommend improvements to governments debt management practices. It is a partnership between central government, local government, the debt advice sector and industry experts. Its achievements include a joint public statement on fairness and helping develop a Call for Evidence on public sector debt management.

The Fairness Group Joint Public Statement sets out how the government works with the advice sector to support vulnerable families.

The GDMF-led Call for Evidence gathered insights into how government can support vulnerable people in debt and most effectively manage debts stemming from fraudulent activity. A summary of responses to the document was published in February 2021 and its findings will inform future government debt collection practices.


For any further queries about the Government Debt Management Function, please email us us at:


Published 8 April 2021

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