31 March 2005 | David Arminas
The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has replaced the man responsible for its flagship £14 billion efficiency savings two weeks before the project's launch.
Richard Abbott, formerly head of procurement at rail company GNER, took over from Martin Sykes this month.
Neither Sykes nor Abbott were available for comment, but an OGC spokesman described the move as "a workload issue".
"With his remit for all the other areas, Martin thought it was best to have one person focus on only procurement efficiency review savings," he said.
Earlier this month, in an exclusive interview with SM, Sykes explained how public-sector purchasers will need to find £7 billion in cash if they want to meet the OGC efficiency target of £14 billion efficiency savings by 2008.
But, he said, there is still a lot of work to be done to find out exactly how much is spent by public-sector buyers (News
, 3 March).
Abbott, a member of CIPS, moves into the OGC as procurement programmes director.
He will report to the deputy chief executive, Peter Fanning.
Sykes remains at the OGC as executive director of the smarter procurement directorate and reports directly to the chief executive John Oughton.
His responsibilities now include contracts with the government's 50 largest suppliers, the Kelly review, and Whitehall's move to attract more small to medium size suppliers to public-sector contracts.