Down the Procurement Pub with CIPS, SMEs, IfG, WPP and Inheaven

Another picture from Public Spend Forum founder Raj Sharma’s visit last week, as we met some of the senior team members from procurement tech firm Ivalua. Only for tea though, although they were looking at the display of fine Scotch Whiskey in the hotel bar with some degree of longing, we felt …


The CIPS Fellows’ Committee organises some great events these days, and this one on March 7th at 5.30pm in London looks really good. It is to celebrate 2017 International Women’s Day event, and has (female) speakers from hosts Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Oxfam, WE Connect, the Government Equalities Office, Ernst and Young and UN Women UK – who will be sharing a range of insights from their different perspectives. “Attendees will gain an understanding of some of the challenges faced and be inspired to engage the right strategies for your own corporation to help change happen around the world”. All chaired by the very wonderful Shirley Cooper and you can find out more and book here. But tickets are (honestly) going fast. CIPS members who are not Fellows also welcome I believe…


Do you fancy being the “Small Business Commissioner” for the UK Government? Just to be clear, that is:

  1. not “commissioner” in the sense it is used in health i.e. the person who defines services to be bought. This means “commissioner” in the US sense of “boss” and
  2. it is the commissioner for looking after small businesses, not a 5ft tall person who will commission businesses … if you see what we mean. (Editor's note - this is why we have hyphens, to avoid ambiguity!)

So what is it all about? The job holder, working in the UK government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will basically be charged with kicking large businesses when they don’t pay smaller suppliers on time – that is pretty much it really, looking at the outline job description. Seems to me it would suit a CPO-type person, I think I might quite enjoy it but I’m a bit busy, although it will probably go to a more general “business” person I would guess. Based in Birmingham, £120-130K a year, and a four-year appointment.

Tom Kinnaird, who must be one of the longest serving CPOs in the Fortune 500, is leaving giant media firm WPP in June after 15 years in the role – a very long time for a CPO these days! He is off to start his own negotiation training and coaching company, Kinnaird Negotiation. He told us “this is a natural extension of what I’ve been doing at WPP for many years, where I’ve been spending a large amount of my time working with the leadership teams of WPP’s many operating companies/agencies, to improve the way we approach commercial and relationship negotiations with clients, as well as with key strategic suppliers”.  We wish him well and suspect he will be very successful given his experience and personality!


We have been unforgivably slow in commenting on the very impressive and interesting Institute for Government report on the developments around Cabinet Office and the new Government Commercial Function, which was published last week. That is in part because initially we just thought “damn, we should have done this report” and then having overcome our jealousy, we wanted to do it justice. So do have a read of “Building Government’s Commercial Capability” now, and we will feature it in more depth next week, we promise.


We haven’t been to our local music venue, the West End Centre at Aldershot for ages, but we took in a very enjoyable gig this week, with Inheaven the main attraction. Nirvana meet the Vaccines with a touch of Teenage Fanclub, plus a female bass player / vocalist adding some interest, and they’ve got some strong tunes too, like this one. The support bands Freak (punk trio) and Vinyl Staircase (from Guildford – young but with a very promising slightly 'proggie' rock sound ) were also good.

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