Adrian Kamellard leaving Cabinet Office “top supplier” role

Adrian Kamellard, currently leading the programme in the Cabinet Office to re-negotiate contracts with major suppliers (and then manage them better on an ongoing basis)  is leaving next month.

He's joining a particularly exciting body, the Payments Council, which "is the organisation which sets the strategy for UK payments. It was set up by the payments industry in March 2007 to ensure that UK payment systems and services meet the need of payment service providers, users and the wider economy".

Doesn't sound the most thrilling organistaion, but Kamellard is an accountant and finance man by background - he's not a procurement guy really, and I don't think he would ever have claimed to be a professional negotiator. (I worked with him when he was at Partnerships UK and I was involved with the ID Card programme). Indeed, most of the hard negotiation undertaken in the Cabinet Office programme was carried out by senior procurement people in government, including those now designated as "Crown Commercial Representatives". They will also provide useful continuity following Kamellard's departure.

His going gives Ian Watmore, Permanent Secretary in charge of the Efficiency and Reform Group, the chance to look at re-structuring. Should this role come under John Collington, as Government CPO? There would be some logic in that, but arguably he has enough on his plate, delivering the challenging centralised procurement initiative.

Or arguably, the scope of the major supplier work could justify another SCS3 appointment (at the same level as Collington)? Or might Watmore add this work onto the responsibility of one of the other SCS2 execs in the Group perhaps - such as the semi-mythical Katherine Davidson (spoken about in hushed tones, but no-one seems to quite know what she does...) But she's ex-McKinsey, so I'm sure she could turn her hand to a bit of top-supplier management.

And does Kamellard's exit suggest the top supplier programme isn't going as well as hoped? That's one story I've heard, and it's true that National Audit Office haven't yet cast their beady and analytical eyes over the declared savings of £800 million. But I suspect it is more about taking up an interesting, CEO level job in a field where he may feel more at home than attempting to beat up IBM, Capita, BT and other pretty hairy and tough suppliers.

Anyway, good luck Adrian, I hope it goes well for you.

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