18 March 2004 | David Arminas
Andrew Hinett has been appointed the first head of procurement at the General Medical Council, the independent watchdog protecting patients' interests in their dealings with the medical profession.
Purchasing was previously in the remit of facilities management, but as part of a major review the GMC has created a separate purchasing function.
"The GMC, like most organisations, must demonstrate that it provides better value for money to its stakeholders," said Hinett.
Around 200 people work at the GMC, which can remove doctors' right to practice in the UK.
Hinett will review procurement policies and procedures across all of the GMC's directorates, as well as initiating a structured commodity review programme to identify savings in the annual £26 million budget.
"The biggest spend is legal services, including lawyers, solicitors and translation services, amounting to about a third of the budget," he said. "We also spend a lot on IT, distribution, travel and accommodation."
But this year will see a "blip" increase in the budget caused by moving the administrative support functions to Manchester from London, where a smaller facility will be kept on.
Hinett will work closely with the head of facilities management on the head office move, and will also support the IT strategy of the recently hired information systems director.
Hinett is currently the only professional purchaser at the GMC, but additional buyers might be needed later this year.
He was previously vendor relationship manager at MBNA Europe.