15 November 2007 | Steve Bagshaw
Collaboration on common spend, improved data and value for money are the priorities of the new OGC chief executive.
Speaking to SM
Nigel Smith said: "I believe mandating is not the way to go. There is a part for mandates to play in any organisation, but there are a whole bunch of intelligent people in the civil service, as there are in private industry, and they will find a reason not to do it."
And he knows the importance of measuring performance: "You can't do something that is systematic, right across the whole spectrum of spend unless you've got the right data. That is one of the mundane things I will be really focusing on over the next three to six months."
Smith is working on a strategic review but his initial assessment is that £78 billion of government spend is on common commodities. Six areas will be targeted initially. These include energy, fleet, office supplies and travel.
"We haven't yet decided on the other two," he says, but has a message for vendors: "Government has to engage with suppliers in a more structured, formal and adult way."
The government spends £3.5 billion a year on energy, but he would not be drawn on how much this new approach would cut from that total. But he is clear "value for money must remain at the heart of what procurement is about".See the full interview with Nigel Smith in the 29 November issue of SM