John Collington to head up central government procurement

12 August 2010

12 August 2010 | Angeline Albert

Home Office group commercial director John Collington is to become the most senior procurement figure in the UK government.

He will take up his appointment as head of procurement in the Cabinet Office’s new Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG) on 1 September.

The post will require Collington to spearhead a cross-government approach to procurement and supply chain to enable it to make the best use of its combined purchasing power and get better value for money.

Collington said: “There has never been a greater need for smarter, aggregated approaches to government spending on commodities. Pockets of best practice already exist within Whitehall, but so much more can be achieved.”

Francis Maude, Cabinet Office minister and co-chair of the ERG, said: “As in any big, complex organisation there are some things that government must mandate centrally. By giving a really big push to the centralisation of its procurement mandate we can make sure we take advantage of government’s buying power to drive down the costs of goods and services.”

Collington joined the Home Office in 2007 as group commercial director with responsibility for transforming how the department manages its annual £2.4 billion expenditure on goods and services. At a recent conference, he said the procurement changes implemented there had saved £243 million over three years. Before joining the Home Office Collington spent 23 years in the private sector in senior global commercial and supply chain roles.

“The work John Collington will lead from the ERG will help all departments across government address the pressing demands of necessary spending reductions. He brings with him considerable commercial experience and expertise and the necessary drive to take forward important and necessary reforms in government’s procurement activity,” Maude added.

Meanwhile, CIPS announced in the last issue of CIPS Update (5 August, 2010), that Collington is one of the new members of its board.

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