David Smith to retire as DWP commercial director

31 July 2013

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1 August 2013 | Adam Leach

David Smith, commercial director at the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) and former CIPS president, has announced he is to retire in October after 40 years of public service.

In a letter sent to colleagues within the government commercial directorate and to SM, Smith announced he will depart on 31 October 2013, bringing an end to a 26-year long career as a procurement professional, with the last 11 spent heading up the DWP’s commercial team.

He will be replaced as commercial director at the department by Andrew Forzani. Forzani, who will start on 1 November, joined the DWP as procurement director in March, having previously been head of procurement and commissioning at Surrey County Council.

Smith explained he is looking forward to being able to spend more time watching Premier League side West Ham, playing guitar with his band the Front Covers (who have started the party at the CIPS Supply Management Awards for the past three years) and improving his golf handicap.

He also vowed to continue efforts to promote the valuable contribution made by procurement professionals in any way he can.

“I truly believe that we have, together achieved some great things in government and that we have helped move the procurement profession to the position of significance that it currently occupies. I know that the profession will continue to make a huge contribution to government’s reform agenda and to the many challenges in the future.”

In addition to his role at DWP, Smith also served as deputy chief procurement officer under John Collington, playing a vital role in pushing the purchasing reform agenda across central government. He also acts as Crown Representative, working to help SMEs gain access to government contracts.

Smith was made a companion of the Order of the Bath in the 2009 New Year's Honours List for public and voluntary service. He was named as one of the 30 ‘superstars of procurement’ by SM in November 2006.

He served as CIPS president in 2012. His theme was finding the next generation of purchaser and during his term, he gave passionate speeches at conferences and events around the world and urged purchasers to do what they could to promote the profession, such as presenting at schools and taking on apprentices.

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