OGC and Cabinet Office – the plot thickens (again…)

by Peter Smith on October 18, 2010

The Cabinet Office has published organagrams for UK Government Departments including salaries, number of positions at different levels and so on. All very interesting, if somewhat opaque in places.

The Cabinet Office itself, and the Efficiency and Reform Group within it,  was obviously the first one I looked at, as the current ‘home’ of Government procurement.

And Nigel Smith is still there on the chart as Chief Exec of OGC despite the fact he left almost 2 months ago!  Why?  They obviously know he has gone?  And John Collington is on the chart as ‘Director, Commodity Procurement’ reporting to Ian Watmore; but doesn’t appear to have anyone reporting to him.  David Pitchford – the OGC Projects and Programme lead – now reports to Watmore, but its not clear to whom the other 3 or 4 OGC Board members report now Nigel has gone.  So what’s going on? Let’s hope it becomes clearer this week.

Watmore therefore has at least 11 and quite possibly 15 people (if we include Nigel’s old reports) working into him according to the chart. Now I know he is well regarded, talented and experienced, but that seems like a very challenging span of control given not just the number of reports but the range of his responsibilities.  In terms of procurement reports, John Collington is very focused on the procurement centralisation agenda; while Adrian Kamellard (’Director, Commercial Portfolio’) leads the ‘negotiating savings from top suppliers’ initiative.   But then Watmore also has reports covering Government Communications, IT (including John Suffolk, the Government CIO) , HR issues across Government, governance, and various other areas.

So as we’ve said before, having lost Government procurement’s professional, Permanent Secretary-level leader (Nigel Smith), that doesn’t bode well for the amount of time and focus Watmore can personally supply to drive change and improvement we need to see in public procurement.

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