1 January 2011 | Lindsay Clark
Nigel Smith, the former chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce, has been awarded the Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours list 2011.
Having led the central government procurement agency since 2007, Smith stepped down at the end of his three-year contract in September 2010. In the Honours list, he was made a Companion (CB) of the Order of the Bath, an award reserved for military figures and a few civil servants, for his work in government.
Shortly before he came to the end of his OGC role, Smith spoke to SM about his major achievements. Among them was a greater recognition of procurement within government departments. “I will say with great certainty procurement is very much on the top table of government now. Permanent secretaries talk in an educated way about what procurement is, they know who their suppliers are, and they are talking with their suppliers.”
He also admitted that procurement faces some tough challenges since the creation of the coalition government in 2010. “Procurement is not going to be immune from budget cuts, but procurement will be even more important, so how do you square that circle?” he said in September. “The only way is to follow in a much more aggressive way the sorts of things we have been trying to do over the past three years.”
Prior to the end of his tenure at the OGC, Smith was second permanent secretary at the Treasury and a member of the Treasury Board. He was also the head of the Government Procurement Service. At the time of his departure, he said he intended to re-join the private sector.
The OGC is now part of the Cabinet Office's Efficiency and Reform Group.