05 October 2005 | Rebecca Ellinor
The procurement team at Pembrokeshire County Council has more than doubled in size with the addition of five officers.
Elizabeth Callard, Sian Edwards, Diane Hughes, Carl Mathias and Julie Randell join Nigel Morgan, Judith Bamford, Nia Evans and head of procurement Paul Ashley-Jones.
The Welsh authority had no centralised procurement function before the appointment of Ashley-Jones in August 2001.
"I pulled together purchasers working in different departments and we wrote and implemented a procurement strategy," he said.
The team's key success is the implementation of the largest purchasing card programme of its kind in the public sector in Wales. It is projected to process more than £4 million this financial year.
Ashley-Jones said that the authority recognises the achievements and more people were needed to build on the work.
He said one area the team will examine is helping schools to manage spend and negotiate better contracts.
Two of the recruits have responsibility for special areas: Mathias is principal procurement officer for construction and major projects, while Randell, who bought social care packages in another department, is now principal procurement officer for social services.
Ashley-Jones said the appointments were made internally and particularly in the case of the junior roles, he made the decision to develop existing staff.
He added: "Fully-qualified people are in demand. The new team members are people with an understanding of the role from their previous jobs and we've agreed training from NVQs through to MCIPS.
"The authority recognises what we've achieved so far and is prepared to make a commitment to it. We're an expanding service, we've got to prove ourselves and I'm confident we will."