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Heseltine calls for more private sector CPOs in govt

1 November 2012

Lord Heseltine believes every government department should recruit a chief procurement officer (CPO) from the private sector.

The former deputy prime minister's new report makes a series of recommendations about returning the UK economy to growth, including ideas about further improving spending controls in Whitehall.

In comments reported by Supply Management, Lord Heseltine suggested there is still a lack of commercial skills in many areas of government.

He said every department should be permitted to bring in an experienced CPO to oversee spending on major projects, with existing pay restrictions on external appointments lifted if necessary.

"There is no alternative in the short term but to bring in the necessary skills from the private sector," the Conservative politician commented.

He claimed that most civil servants are "policy thinkers first and project managers a distant second".

In response, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply David Noble welcomed the report's recommendations but warned against public sector bodies "replicating precisely the approach to procurement in the private sector".

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Categories: Central Government, Public Sector


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