01 April 2004 | David Arminas
John Oughton has been appointed chief executive of the government's main procurement advisory body, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC).
Oughton, who takes over from Sir Peter Gershon today, has been deputy chief executive of the OGC since April 2003.
From 1998, until joining the OGC in 2003, he was in the Ministry of Defence as the senior civilian responsible for leading the modernisation programme in the new Defence Logistics Organisation.
He was head of the implementation team that created the DLO before becoming deputy chief of the organisation.
From 1993-97, he was head of the government's Efficiency Unit, and later worked on the new Labour government's first comprehensive spending review.
He will be responsible for implementing the government's efficiency review, announced in last month's budget, which includes savings across the public sector of 2.5 per cent a year up to 2007.
A recent National Audit Office report noted that the OGC had helped government departments and agencies to save £1.6 billion since the advisory body was created in April 2000 and up to March 2003 (see News
, 18 March).
The OGC would like further savings of £3 billion from the £120 billion annual spend by central government civil procurement by 2005-06.
Oughton will also be joining the Treasury Management Board as a non-executive member and will report jointly to the prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer.