03 August 2006 | Rebecca Ellinor
Ian Taylor has become the first commercial director at the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).
Taylor, who took up the post this week, has for the past year been the director of the Centre for Procurement Performance (CPP), which is responsible for efficiency savings across education in England.
The creation of the DfES post follows a reorganisation and the departure of its most senior purchasing professional, Paul Neill, at the start of the year.
Taylor will continue to oversee the CPP, but he will also be responsible for corporate procurement at the DfES and for estate management. Darron Cox, previously deputy director for schools and head of operations, is to become director of CPP and deputy commercial director.
Taylor's new role entails overseeing an extra £400 million spend in addition to the £18 billion education spend across England. He will report to Jon Thompson, a DfES director-general and board member.
Taylor said: "Balancing these roles will be an interesting challenge but it will allow me to raise the profile of procurement and reinforce our efforts under the Gershon efficiency programme."