David Smith, DWP Commercial Director and CIPS Past President announces his retirement

David Smith, Commercial Director for the Department of Work and Pensions (the UK's largest civil government department) has announced his retirement at the end of October 2013.

It's not a total shock - Smith is 93 after all. (Ha! Revenge for all the times he's introduced me to people as "his Father")!

Seriously though.. it is nothing to do with the furore around the new Crown Commercial Service, it is simply that he feels the time is right and he has many other interests he wants to pursue - football, golf, his music of course, and family. As he says in his letter announcing his decision he might "perhaps think about recording the elusive second album (to follow the first some 30 odd years earlier)".

He very much enjoyed the ambassadorial role of being CIPS President, and he also loves travel, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him promoting better procurement in far off places before too long - at least when West Ham aren't playing at home.

But he will be missed - he's been the dominant personality in public procurement for some years really, and has steered DWP through some very tricky procurement issues with great success (in most cases).

The timing may also be related to Andrew Forzani's recent appointment as his deputy, and Smith feeling that the Commercial function at DWP is in good hands - there is a very strong top team there with some first class procurement people.  We understand Forzani will succeed Smith, although it is not absolutely clear whether this is a temporary or permanent appointment. Yes, confirmed as a permanent appointment.

In future posts, we'll look forward at the implications of this and look back at Smith's career in more detail.  But in the meantime, congratulations and good luck to Smith and Forzani!

Voices (2)

  1. Final Furlong:

    It will finally give David the perfect excuse to change the content of his slides after all these years! He will be missed (though my liver will be relieved) and it would have been entertaining to see him dance around the new Crown Commercial Service with the same ease in which he did with all of its predecessors (OGC etc). I’m sure we’d all like to see pop him up again somewhere soon. Perhaps he could become a ‘special adviser’ to Minister Maude and Jeremy Heywood on all things commercial – fill in a few of the gaps for them.

  2. David Atkinson:

    The procurement profession will soon be less rock n roll, more Apprentice, and that’s a shame.

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