11 July 2008 | Rebecca Ellinor
KPMG last night won the overall award at the Home Office's first ceremony to recognise the work of vendors.
The department, which spends around £2 billion on third party goods and services, set up the "Supplier Value Awards Programme" to reward those that help it make service improvements, cost or process efficiencies.
Home Office commercial director John Collington said: "We're the first government department to run a programme recognising excellence from the supply base and the contribution of procurement and non-procurement professionals in the Home Office in delivering value.
"This is the realisation of a vision. And it's always good when a vision becomes reality."
Winners in the supplier categories were: technology company Savvis for "best technology implementation", Atos Origin for "best technology improvement", Ernst & Young for "most beneficial contribution to a project or programme", commercial property consultancy Drivers Jonas for the "most beneficial contribution to sustainability"; and KPMG for "best performance improvement" and the overall award.
The accounting and consulting firm won for its work with the Home Office's Value for Money and Productivity Unit and 10 police forces in delivering reform processes in operational areas of the police service. These have resulted in savings of more than £2 million a year in one police force alone.
There were also two staff commendations. Seema Banerjee picked up the award for "procurement professional of the year" for her work on the Scientific Research Framework, which is expected to achieve £1.7 million value for money (VFM) savings. Robert Arnott, from the VFM and Productivity Unit, received the "permanent secretary's award for outstanding contribution in driving value" for his work championing VFM and leading the KPMG programme.
Presenting the gongs, Home Office minister Meg Hillier MP, for whom procurement is part of her portfolio, said: "I keep a beady eye on how the Home Office spends money and we're here to celebrate how we got good value from you. We need and rely on you to help us deliver."
Hillier also paid tribute to the ID cards procurement team who she said she believed were one of the "best in government".
Permanent secretary Sir David Normington thanked winners and said: "One of the great improvements in the Home Office in the past two years has been the way we've been improving relationships with suppliers and the effectiveness and efficiency of programmes in the department."
He said the announcement of the latest Home Office capability review expected next week would show significant strides had been made. "Two years ago we came bottom, this year we will not come bottom. It will show serious improvement. It's very important progress and the Home Office couldn't do it by itself - it relies on the relationships with other people."