19 April 2011 | Angeline Albert
John Collington has been chosen as the UK's first cross-government chief procurement officer, effective immediately.
The role combines Collington's previous responsibilities as head of procurement at the Cabinet Office's Efficiency and Reform Group with the post of chief executive of Buying Solutions - the government's commercial agency - to form a single position.
David Smith, the commercial director for the Department for Work and Pensions, has been appointed as deputy chief procurement officer, and will combine this work with his current role.
Colllington, who continues to report to Ian Watmore, told SM: “I am very pleased to be the government’s first CPO. It is recognition for the work myself and colleagues have done over the last few years to raise the profile of procurement. Effectively there is no change to my work. The appointment is affirmation of the journey that we’re embarked upon over the last seven months has been the right one.”
He added: “We’ve got two commercial directors from two government departments running procurement from the centre. I’ve already presented our central procurement strategy. The aim is to improve procurement capability across government departments, make appropriate improvements in technology and managing our top suppliers. I will be working hand in hand with the Cabinet Office's new crown representatives.”
The Cabinet Office is now looking for a candidate to fill the post of managing director of Buying Solutions.
Last February, the Cabinet Office told SM an internal search for a candidate to fill the CPO post was underway. Collington took up the role of ERG head of procurement last September.