11 October 2007 | Antony Barton
The Department for Work and Pensions has made Barry Leighton its first head of commercial management.
Leighton, who joined the DWP last week, works in the commercial and estates directorate and reports directly to commercial director David Smith. He oversees 260 people and a total spend of around £2 billion, covering estates, logistics and business services areas.
His responsibilities include developing and managing DWP suppliers to ensure they meet agreed standards and achieve value for money and that contract management is consistent across the estates and facilities management and logistics and services teams.
Leighton told SM working in a department the size of the DWP is sure to present many "exciting challenges". He added: "It's all about the people, so I will begin by getting to know who does what. Then I will look at where opportunities and issues lie, before tackling why they have not been addressed."
He was previously head of procurement at Northumbrian Water for seven years, where his achievements included the formation of a global purchasing group and the implementation of Oracle software.
Interviews for the Northumbrian Water post took place last week, but a replacement is yet to be appointed.