HMRC procurement ‘safe’ and progress on the collaboration programme

Well done to David Thomas for avoiding cuts in the HMRC procurement team, as reported here by Supply Management. Another part of that report struck me an interesting; this is Thomas speaking.

Furthermore, the HMRC commercial team is taking on management of three of the nine centrally managed Whitehall categories ....“Of the nine streams that [ERG head of procurement] John Collington has established, I am personally leading on three.”  These are print services, office supplies, and learning and development.

Here is  Supply Management last November.

Collington said energy, office supplies and professional services are the three categories to be tackled by March 2011. Travel, fleet and telecoms will be addressed by June next year and IT commodities, print management and advertising and media will be tackled by next September.

But Cabinet Office, March 2nd, said the categories were:

energy, office solutions, professional services, travel, fleet, learning and development, ICT commodities, advertising and media, print and print management.

So, with Poirot like deductive powers, we can see that Telecoms has gone from the list to be replaced by learning and development.  I wonder why?  And in my opinion, it's a really bad choice; from personal and painful experience, L & D is a category where there is limited commonality of requirement even within organisations, needs supplier refresh regularly, and the market / nature of supply is not very susceptible to achieving simple economies of scale.

Talented though Thomas is, I will be amazed if significant, tangible benefits come from this area.

And if he is leading on 3 of the 9, how are the others being split up; our understanding was that DWP, Home Office, MoJ and Buying Solutions (and possibly a 'consortium' of smaller Departments as well) were all in the frame to lead, so that would be 6 categories to be split between four/ five others and suggests HMRC have done pretty well to get 3.

Anyway, it would be good to get a bit more communication about the programme, above and beyond 'it's all going terribly well', so let's hope that is on the agenda for the new CPO....

PS  It has just occurred to me that the naming of the new CPO may well form part of the budget announcements on Wednesday - no doubt there will be stuff on public procurement, and announcing the new name would be a sensible thing to include then.

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  1. Final Furlong:

    Well, the COI review has been published (here)…

    The COI will be replaced by a new Government Comunication Centre (GCC) based in Cabinet Office.

    Oddly, it outlines how all of the related procurement will take place within the new Government Comunication Centre. And I quote… “The benefits of aggregated central procurement for marketing and communication services are clear and quantifiable. A centralised procurement function would also provide the mechanism for the effective introduction of a payment by results regime across government direct communication activity. It is also clear to me that a GCC central marketing-procurement function will need close professional links with the ERG government procurement team, and yet retain and build specific expertise for integrated media planning/buying and creative frameworks.”

    The race for Marketing and Advertising procurement is already over it seems.

    Guidance for all M&A jockeys.
    Before entering the race, all riders must follow instructions carefully:
    1. take saddle off horse
    2. attach cart
    3. fill cart with same baggage*
    4. obstruct other riders and horses at starting gate
    5. if necessary, take off wheel
    6. as starter’s orders are announced, get off horse and resign
    7. enter race when new rider is found

    *baggage can include (but not limited be to): same people, same framework contracts, same suppliers, same processes, more of the same, same old same old

  2. Peter Smith:

    Christine, I’ve got a post planned that touches on the redundancy programmes (next day or two) – lots of old OGC people going (25%?) but not clear how may of those from the collaborative teams.
    And Final Furlong – I’m not clear how much careful analysis has gone into the choice / allocation of categories. Will publish a post on the COI review (Matt Tee’s final fling) later this week also. Although don’t hold your breath – it is to procurement insight what Daniel O’Donnnell is to pushing the boundaries of contemporary rock (I’m on a music theme tonight with the Reading Festival announcements.. currently re-discovering Jimmy Eat World on Spotify)

  3. Christine Morton:

    How do these plans affect the former OGC staff, many of them experts in these very categories, given the size of the redundancy programme also occurring? And have you heard anything about the “success” of that redundancy programme?

  4. Final Furlong:

    As ever Peter, thanks for keeping us informed.

    We wouldn’t know what the right hand or left hand is doing, or who’s choosing to sit on their hands.

    I can’t help but wonder how they hand out these categories. Does each Commercial Director simply put up his hand (if they’re haven’t chosen to sit on their hands), or do they say “speak to the hand”. Well, someone must have had a hand in it.

    A couple of immediate observations my dear Watson (I’m choosing to be Sherlock…) relate to advertising and media. As you say, this category was due to be addressed by September of this year (2011), along with, as you pointed out, the categories of print (and ICT). Presumably, someone recognised the link, at a market level, between design (intrinsic to advertising and media) and print – and that ICT could dramatically reduce the dependency and spend on all of them (online advertising and forms, online mailshots, portable brochures etc..).

    But, interestingly, print is now being addressed independently of advertising and media (and ICT) – and is now aligned to office products and, erm, L&D(?)

    Now, I can see that there’s a market-level synergy between office products and operational print (ie: forms, business stationery, post etc). So, perhaps, ‘print’ (as now described) excludes all high-end marketing and client-facing products, which will now be part of the advertising and media category?

    In respect of this category, the COI procured all media and advertising across central government, and, presumably, we’ll have to await the outcome of the ‘review’ before we have any insight into how the a&m category will be addressed.

    The COI review must have slowed down though, given that the SRO of the review (Matt Tee), and COI’s CEO, have both resigned. I imagine that it will give someone an excuse to sit on their hands for a while…

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