DWP team ready for budget targets

12 April 2006
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13 April 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has appointed the senior team it hopes will continue to modernise purchasing and help it hit new efficiency targets set in the latest budget.

As reported in SM (Features, 19 January), David Smith, commercial director at the DWP, was seeking top-level buyers to develop its commercial intelligence and improve its understanding of the markets it buys from, and who the leading players will be in the future.

Lee Tribe, former head of global products and services sourcing at Barclays, has been named as director of commercial strategy and development. John Michalski is leaving his role as strategic procurement manager at the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (Pasa) to become head of strategic sourcing at DWP; and Rob Wormald has been appointed head of commercial management, an internal promotion.

Tribe, who was at Barclays for seven years, will develop the commercial strategy and staff. Wormald will manage key supplier relationships, while Michalski will explore new markets.

Smith said the three appointments should all be in place by the beginning of May. The posts are part of DWP's procurement modernisation programme, he said, which takes it further away from transactional activity into strategy. He added: "We're well-regarded by the Office of Government Commerce as a high performing procurement organisation. With challenges ahead, the best time to change is when you're on top of your game."

As part of the March budget, chancellor Gordon Brown set new efficiency targets for several central government departments, including the DWP.

The department, which has an annual spend of more than £4 billion, is to make a 5 per cent year-on-year reduction in running costs. Procurement will be expected to achieve a significant part ofthat.

In addition, Smith said the DWP has reached the target of filling 75 per cent of key designated procurement posts with CIPS-qualified staff - a total of 237 positions.

"We're the first government department to have met the target and we've done so a year ahead of schedule," he added.

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