Home Office overhaul

23 May 2007
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24 May 2007

Home Office procurement is overstaffed with buyers focusing on the wrong areas.

As part of a radical overhaul of the department's commercial and procurement function, new buying chief John Collington plans to redistribute some staff and further develop others.

Speaking exclusively to SM he said: "There is a higher proportion of staff employed than there would be in the private sector for the size of the operation. My challenge is to make sure those staff are deployed appropriately on the most rewarding priorities. People are not necessarily focused on right areas at the moment."

Collington, who joined as group commercial director in January, also hopes to reduce the function's reliance on outside help. "We can lessen our dependency on consultants by raising the quality, calibre and capability of our team and by recognising the talent that exists here and giving that talent every opportunity to succeed."

He is discussing the idea of temporary job swaps with the purchasing boss at Marks & Spencer so buyers can exchange experiences and develop new skills.

Collington added some buyers might be moved on a more permanent basis. "My resources could be more efficiently deployed within the Home Office or within other government procurement and commercial areas. If the Metropolitan Police, for example, has got vacancies to fill perhaps I could fill those for them: an example of true collaboration."

He confirmed some staff are shifting as a result of the 9 May Home Office restructure.

Read the full intervew in SM on 7 June

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