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6 March 2012 | Adam Leach
With fewer than 150 days to go until the
London Olympics, procurement chiefs from organisations affected by the Games
have been collaborating to manage the potential risks.
For the past two years, the Government Olympic Executive (GOE)
has been bringing together the heads of purchasing from organisations such as the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG),
Transport for London, the Greater London Authority and local authorities in the capital to share
information and work through issues, such as getting enough security guards.
Phil Cholewick, head of supply chain
management at the GOE, explained to SM
he set up the Cross Programme Procurement Group (CPPG) shortly after he took up
the position in 2009 on secondment from his role as deputy commercial director
at the Home Office.
“It set out to basically exchange
information across the Olympic partners and to set out two things,” he said. “First,
to look at managing risk and second, that in terms of procurement, we would be
delivering value for money across the bodies.”
The size and scale of the Olympics - the
non-construction spend is well over £1 billion - and the immovable deadline
means the operation is unique. “That puts a dynamic around it and increases the
tension for everybody,” said Cholewick.
The need to increase the number of security
guards working at the Games by up to 20,000, which could have a knock-on effect
on supply and demand elsewhere in the market, is an example of where the group
has got together to discuss the potential impact.
“Security guards is a big one at the moment.
There was a requirement, the security people reviewed that requirement and the
number went up,” Cholewick added. “That meant we all had to work together to
make sure that there were security guards around to be able to provide that.”
The CPPG has also worked closely with
industry bodies to inform them of their requirements as early as possible and to
check that there will there enough certified security guards available during
“Clearly, 2012 is not a usual year so there
will be more demand than supply ordinarily can provide, so that’s why we have worked
with industry by providing them with as much forward information as we can,” he
Sharing information also enables the group
to gain greater detail when assessing supplier capabilities. “We’re able to
say: ‘Look, we’re all using company A. Can company A really do this or is it just
[subcontracting it]? How will that work?’” said Cholewick.