Procurement Honours – congratulations to O’Connell and Pitchford

Many congratulations to Patrick O'Connell , Senior Commercial Manager, Department for Work and Pensions, a long-serving procurement professional for the Department who got a OBE in last week’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He got it for “services to  DWP Estates and to the community in the London Borough of Harrow”.

I believe he goes back to the days I worked in the DSS, as it was then, and I’m told that he’s an excellent procurement professional and first-class individual generally!  He’s a Grade 7, so middle management level, and according to my reliable sources “he manages brilliantly one of Governments  biggest contracts (the DWP Trillium property and facilities deal) and has personally contributed millions of pounds of savings and efficiencies”.

 Despite what you might read in certain parts of the media, there are thousands of civil servants like him who work hard and effectively for many years, usually without a lot of praise or glory, so it is good to see someone picked out for that recognition.

Congratulations also to David Pitchford, Head of the Major Projects Authority, who got a CBE for “services to government project management”  i.e. his efforts to clean the Augean stables of government major projects. I don’t know him personally but hear consistently good reports of his competence and personality, and certainly the MPA and indeed its forerunners have brought much-needed  scrutiny and professionalism to that area.

Incidentally, you may be wondering why he got a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) whereas for instance David Smith, Commercial Director at DWP, got a CB (Companion of the Order of the Bath) a couple of years back? Well, I’m told that CBs, which slightly outrank CBEs, are for career military officers and civil servants, whereas the CBE is for “civilians”, even if (like Pitchford) they’ve spent a few years in the public sector.

Interesting, eh? So did anyone really think Britain was becoming an increasingly class-free society?!

But very well done to Pitchford and O’Connell . Enjoy the trip to Buckingham Palace!

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