02 October 2003 | David Arminas
Peter Gershon, chief executive of the government's main procurement advisory body set up to improve public-sector procurement, is to step down.
He will leave in early 2004 after guiding the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) from concept in his 1999 review of government procurement to the agency's inception in 2000.
Gershon, a keynote speaker at next week's CIPS Premier Conference in London, moved from the more lucrative post of managing director at GEC's defence business to become the OGC's first chief executive.
An OGC spokesman said Gershon had originally agreed to a three-year contract but had extended it for a year.
His remit was to integrate purchasing across the government and its agencies but above all for the OGC to act only as a catalyst for change, allowing purchasers themselves to take responsibility.
Writing in this issue of SM, Gershon highlights the OGC's achievements, including making the government a better client for suppliers and contractors, especially for major multi-million-pound building projects.
But IT procurement has been a major problem despite programmes such as the Gateway process for periodic reviews of a project against agreed goals.
Gershon has been linked with a forthcoming major review of government efficiency.
The OGC has begun advertising for Gershon's replacement at around £145,000 a year for the three-year term of office.