Ireland appoints first CPO

4 December 2012

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4 December 2012 | Adam Leach

The Irish government has appointed its first chief procurement officer to lead reform of the function and deliver efficiency savings of up to €637 million (£517 million).

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform announced on Sunday that Paul Quinn, who was formerly group procurement and supply chain management director at Irish telecommunications group eircom, has been appointed to the role. Quinn’s chief task will be to ensure the implementation of procurement reforms, outlined in September, that are expected to deliver savings of €249 million (£202 million) to €637 million (£517 million).

Brendan Howlin, minister for public expenditure and reform, said: “I welcome the appointment of Paul Quinn to lead a key element of the government’s public services reform agenda. Public procurement is a very significant portion of overall spending and it is essential that the public service is achieving maximum value for money and operational efficiency in this regard. We have ambitious plans to realise considerable cost savings in this area and I look forward to working with Paul in this context.”

Over the course of his five years in charge of procurement at eircom, Quinn delivered annual savings of €100 million (£81 million) while also transforming the function so it played a more strategic role in the company.

In his new job, which he began yesterday, reforms will see procurement integrated into one office, an increase in the use of spend analytics and “much greater aggregation of purchasing” across public bodies.

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