Down the Procurement Pub with David Smith, political guests and a wine shortage!

This clearly needs more investigation, and very detailed research over a number of long evenings with good friends. But the BBC reports research from Morgan Stanley research that suggests we are entering into a period of wine shortages. Basically, consumption is now exceeding annual production, quite significantly last year, and with a disappointing 2012 harvest in terms of quantity and quality, things could get worse.



You may have noticed our guest post from a UK Shadow (Labour Party)  Minister yesterday on the topic of prompt payment. His office approached us, which was very flattering, but just to be clear, we are non-aligned politically here and would also absolutely welcome guest posts also from the Conservative Party, the Lib-Dems, Greens, Scottish Nationalists or quite frankly the Monster Raving Loony Party - as long as they are procurement related and interesting. They are the only real criteria for anyone wanting to write something for us. (Oh, and not a blatant sales pitch please if you're a provider). But sincere thanks to Michael Dugher for thinking that our readers are worth targeting.


david croppedYesterday was the last day of David Smith's glittering civil service career. DWP Commercial Director, CIPS Past President, Companion of the Order of the Bath, lead singer extraordinaire.. and a great ambassador for procurement. Here is his goodbye letter to colleagues and friends that he sent this week (reproduced with his permission of course).


 It was indeed 40 years ago today (on 29th October 1973), that a long haired young lad from the East End of London (cocky but still anxious) in his first suit (bought by his Mother from the Littlewoods catalogue) knocked at the door of the Home Office’s long defunct ‘Directorate of Telecommunications’ to begin a civil service career that he expected to last just a few months as he was going to be a ‘rock star’.

He was never remotely good enough to become a ‘rock star’ (but ‘never say never’) however 40 years on he was ever so glad that he stuck at it and heeded his Mother’s advice to get a proper job.

I’ve had an immensely enjoyable 40 years of public service with a huge variety of jobs and experiences (6 government departments), have been fortunate to reach a level that I shouldn’t even have dreamed of, eventually found a profession that has been very good to me, and been lucky enough (and am so proud) to have been recognised in the 2009 New Year Honours.

Most of all I’ve worked with some of the most talented, selfless, dedicated, fun and professional people imaginable across the whole of Whitehall and beyond. I remain immensely proud of what we have achieved together which includes billions of pounds of real savings and the delivery of many extremely challenging reform agendas and projects.

I would have liked to have thanked you all personally but our geography and our workload has made that impossible. I was very grateful that so many of you were able to come to my ‘retirement do’ last week and, for those who were able to make it, I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.

So on Thursday 31st October, and two days into the 41st year of my civil service career, I will leave you all to achieve even greater things over the coming years and sincerely wish you all the best for the future and thank you for some great memories.

….now where is that guitar as I need to apply for an audition on the ‘X Factor’

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