Buying Solutions chief Alison Littley resigns

4 February 2011
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4 February 2011 | Rebecca Ellinor

Alison Littley has resigned from her position as chief executive of UK public sector procurement agency Buying Solutions.

On the same day that SM reported that the organisation is this month to be subjected to a review which is expected to see it scaled-down and focused on central government purchasing, we can reveal that Littley left her position on 1 February after five years in the post.

She told SM she was "planning to take time out before deciding on her next position".

David Shields, procurement delivery director for Buying Solutions, has taken on provisional day-to-day management of the organisation, reporting to John Collington, executive director of procurement within Cabinet Office’s Efficiency and Reform Group.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said a decision as to whether or not to appoint a new full-time chief executive "will be decided in due course".

As the government’s commercial arm, Buying Solutions – formerly - manages national framework agreements for the whole public sector. If the organisation is downsized, it is not yet known whether new deals will be open to the wider public sector. Collington is also examining its future funding status. One possible outcome is that it will cease to be a trading fund by 1 April and could be solely funded by the taxpayer.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said it is expected that the organisation would be transformed to become “leaner and more efficient”.

During her time as chief of Buying Solutions Littley urged public sector purchasers to increase collaboration and improve efficiency; pledged to boost interpersonal skills after discovering staff needed a better understanding of customer needs; and criticised the spending habits of large government departments.

Prior to the public sector role, Littley spent seven years working for drinks business Diageo.

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