29 April 2004 | Liam O'Brien
Jim Parkinson has been appointed head of payment cards at OGCbuying.solutions, the Office of Government Commerce's commercial division.
Parkinson is responsible for boosting the use of payment cards, including the government procurement card (GPC), in particular for purchases worth up to £1,000.
Less than 10 per cent of central government purchases are currently made with a payment card.
"Around £750 million goes on cards at the moment in the public sector, but it could be a lot more," he said.
Parkinson added that the take-up of payment cards was particularly low among local authorities, which were reluctant to issue cards to their staff.
"Security and payment issues have restricted the use of cards by local authorities, which tend to prefer to have an invoice."
Parkinson replaces Alex Haslam, who managed the GPC contract previously. Haslam has left OGCbuying.solutions and moved to a new role with the NHS Information Authority as the principal contracts manager.
Parkinson was previously head of OGCenergy, which set up and managed contracts for gas, electricity and liquid fuel for the public sector, and included the Arval PHH fuel card contract.
His background also includes time in charge of the OGC's Water Mark project, a programme to provide water consumption data to help develop benchmarks for cutting the government's water bills by up to £100 million a year.
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