Jane Nicolson – Sad News, Good Memories

We were deeply saddened to hear that Jane Nicolson passed away on 1st July after a long and extremely courageous battle with a brain tumour. Our sincere condolences to her family and close friends.

I first met Jane properly some 10 years ago when reviewing the Department of Work and Pensions as part of Treasury’s Procurement Capability Review process. Not only was she that very rare procurement person – a real expert in professional services procurement – she had a very winning combination of confidence, personal warmth and a dry sense of humour. She was absolutely on top of her brief.

I didn’t actually know initially that Jane was the partner of former CIPS President David Smith – they were together for over 21 years. She had a very distinguished career in public sector procurement, and held senior procurement roles in the Inland Revenue, Department for Work and Pensions and the Crown Commercial Service. She was Category Manager for a number of key commodities in government but will be best remembered for her key work in professionalising the procurement of Consultancy and Interim Labour in the public sector.

We’re grateful to David Smith himself for filling in some details of her life and career. As he told us, “Jane was trained as a school teacher and next joined the Civil Service in an administrative role. No doubt inspired by the drive to improve public sector procurement, she then trained through to CIPS Graduate Diploma level in the late 1990s and soon established herself as a highly successful practitioner”.

Jane was clearly one of those sought-after individuals who was hugely respected by everyone - stakeholders, managers, her peers, her staff and by suppliers. As David says, “she had a bright and radiant personality and a smile that could light up a room, but woe betide any supplier who took that for a sign of procurement weakness. Supplier and contract management was something that she excelled at and seemed to come easily to her”.

Jane was only 51 and leaves behind a family that loves her dearly and will miss her hugely. David tells us that the funeral will be held on Wednesday 26th July in Leatherhead, Surrey. Please let David know at davidjamessmith (at) blueyonder.co.uk if you would like to attend.


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