New chief sets tone

11 April 2007
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12 April 2007 | Antony Barton

The new acting head of the OGC has vowed to impose his own brand of leadership and is "ambitious to up the pace of change".

Peter Fanning, the former deputy chief executive who took up the interim post last week, said: "Whether I'm acting chief executive for one week or 50, I will act with all the powers that go with the job."

Meanwhile, the OGC has revealed it had 295 staff at the start of this month - down from 430 at this time last year. This follows the aim set out in Transforming government procurement for it to become "a smaller, higher calibre organisation". Cuts have come through relocations to other civil service departments, voluntary severance and early retirement.

Following other recommendations in the report, Fanning told SM the procurement capability reviews, which began last month, and the new Government Procurement Service would provide the "high calibre professionals" it describes.

The first review is under way in the Department for Education and Skills and this prototype will inform subsequent reviews. Fanning says the OGC does not assume it knows best practice for departments but will challenge those that are clearly not meeting required standards.

He said: "I'm less worried about using our powers to force compliance. I'm more worried about the quality of discussion we have with departments and to discover why certain approaches aren't working."

Work is under way on how to make the findings public.

Fanning also said the Public Sector Faculty, which held its inaugural meeting last month, was a "very exciting and important initiative" that brought together procurement across the public and private sectors.

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