Commercial heads become crown representatives

14 April 2011

14 April 2011 | Angeline Albert

The UK government has appointed a team of purchasing gatekeepers to centrally manage the relationship with its 36 major suppliers.

CabinetOffice minister Francis Maude announced yesterday that the government’s relationship with its key suppliers will be improved following the appointment of nine ‘crown representatives’ who will ensure it acts as a single customer and achieves more value for money.

Seven procurement professionals drawn from government departments and two buyers from the private sector form the new group tasked with stopping departments from each signing their own contracts with the same suppliers without any central control. They will be responsible for delivering the £800 million efficiency savings identified for 2010/11 following contract renegotiations with the major providers.

Maude said: “We need better, more efficient relationships with suppliers over the long term. The value of a single representative, acting on behalf of all departments, became apparent during the contract renegotiations.”

The group will closely collaborate with departments to oversee significant contract awards to these key suppliers and offer advice using their knowledge of a supplier’s performance across its portfolio of government contracts. It will also develop emerging providers to foster greater competition and create cross-government sourcing strategies.

The seven representatives are:

Each representative is responsible for the relationship with several of the government’s largest suppliers and takes on the extra role from this month.

They join private sector buyers Stephen Allott who, as reported by SM, became the crown representative for SMEs in February and Stephen Kelly who was hired to support the mutualisation of public services on 4 April. This last post is in line with a plan to enable public sector staff to take control of the ownership and governance of the organisations they work for, which could see them forming a mutual and awarded contracts to continue providing services.

The representatives will manage the government’s relationship with 36 suppliers – Accenture, Amey, Atkins, Atos Origin, Airwave, Balfour Beatty, Babcock, BT, Cable & Wireless, Capgemini, Capita, Carillion, Cisco, CSC, Detica, Fujitsu, G4S, Global Crossing, GEO, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Interserve, Logica, Microsoft, MITIE, Oracle, Royal Mail Group, SAP, Serco, Siemens, Sodexo, Steria, Telereal Trillium, Vodafone, Vertex and Xerox.

* The Cabinet office also announced yesterday that six entrepreneurs have been appointed to help small businesses present business proposals to supply the government to a “Dragons’ Den” style panel.

SMEs have until 22 April to submit proposals to the Innovation Launch Pad, explaining how their innovative and cost-saving products would benefit the government. Civil servants will then vote on the ideas and the chosen SMEs will present their proposals to a panel of senior government officials, following coaching from the entrepreneurs.

Up to-£40k dependent on experience
GX2 Technology Group
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Apsiz Services Ltd
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