11 December 2003 | Simon Binns
The government is set to insist on professional qualifications for top-level civil service procurement jobs
Sir Andrew Turnbull, cabinet secretary and head of the civil service, suggested only experienced professionals should be considered for senior procurement, IT, finance and personnel positions.
A Treasury spokesman said it was committed to giving civil servants the chance to upgrade their skills and would support a "re-professionalising" of the service.
Mark Moore, director of consultancy Supply Solutions and CIPS chief examiner for the project management and contract management syllabus, said the statement was a "boost, a dose of reality".
He noted that the Office for Government Commerce and CIPS had achieved much in training middle management in central government organisations, but said many managers at that level wondered why senior managers did not have the professional qualifications.
He told SM: "Much still needs to be done to improve procurement skills for senior management, particularly those who hold influence over key stages of the procurement process, such as the approval and specification stages of an investment."
Too many National Audit Office reports were critical of government procurement, he added. "Senior managers would benefit from tailored procurement training," he said.