Down the Procurement Dentist (?) with Stephen Kelly, Russia, Spain and Southern

It’s been a pretty sober week really, people on holiday, no-one to go to the procurement pub with really. But I did go to the dentists. Which was nice.


On an altogether more serious note, many procurement and supply chain people will be working out what the sanctions announced by Russia this week mean to their firms, sales, production planning and supply chain management.  Everything from basic raw materials to Kinder Surprise chocolate products and Danone Yoghurt may be affected. And with the European economy still looking vulnerable (and Italy sinking back into recession), this is not a good time for another shock to the system. We'll look further at this issue shortly.


So Stephen Kelly has bailed out of the “Government Chief Operating Officer” role in the Cabinet Officer after less than two years in the job. Was this because;

a. He was annoyed about not getting the new ‘Government CEO’, don’t touch it with a barge-pole non-job, you’d be crazy to apply, which is being filled shortly.

b. He read our post about the problems with the government shared services programme, which is his baby, and decided to get out whilst the going is good and before the proverbial hits the fan.

c. He never really was accepted by colleagues and could see that the next year could only be even more frustrating than the last two, with the election on the horizon.

d. Sage offered him a huge sack full of money, gold, precious gemstones, the finest sweetmeats and wines, and the hand of their CFO’s beautiful 18 year old daughter in marriage if he became their CEO. (OK, we exaggerate, but crikey , £790,000 a year plus a one-off £1 million share plan makes his £150K a year at the moment look pretty sick).

e. All of the above?

Good luck Stephen. I rather liked him on our one serious meeting. He was certainly different to most senior civil servants.


Hey! Spend Matters is going to have a Spanish language site! It will be run out of Mexico by Xavier Olivera, an experienced procurement guy, and here is his first post on the main US site, introducing himself more fully . The business centre of the Spanish speaking world is really Latin America now, just as the USA is the main hub of English, but I know Xavier will look to cover Spain as well as his home region. So do tell any Spanish speaking colleagues, and all I can say personally to welcome him is the sum total of my Spanish language competence – Dos cervezas, por favor!


Reading Festival is only two weeks away now, so we can start worrying about;

1. Why the tickets haven’t arrived

2. The weather forecast

3. How I’ll get round all the bands I want to see.

We’ll be starting our previews tomorrow but the great thing is discovering new bands. So the very first band in the smallest tent on the Friday is Southern. I’d never heard of them, so look them up. Wow! They’re great! Brother / sister from Northern Ireland. Really, really good. And they are just band number one as it were of the approximately 240 bands playing over the three days ...

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