26 May 2005 | David Arminas
Mike Burnett has been appointed director of training programmes at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) in the Netherlands.
He is in charge of the Maastricht-based institute's programmes in public procurement in UK central and local government and the European Union and the so-called "transition" countries, such as Romania.
"The biggest challenge to implementing a good procurement programme is the cultural issue," he said.
"It is not always easy to get across the idea that good procurement is for the benefit of citizens, rather than for the personal gain of a select group of people. It often boils down to corruption."
But he said there are encouraging signs of change.
"In Romania I saw younger people making their way up the system who knew that things must change and how to change them."
He was formerly an independent consultant, and worked with the EIPA to implement a national public procurement training programme in Macedonia.
Burnett has worked in other European countries including Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania and Serbia.
He also worked with KPMG for 10 years on public procurement consultancy.