Bill Crothers has been named as government’s new chief procurement officer, following the departure of John Collington.
Crothers, who is the Cabinet Office’s executive director of commercial relationships, will take on the new role when Collington steps down at the end of July.
As the new chief procurement officer, Crothers will have both commercial and procurement responsibilities, which the government hopes will help it operate in a more “business-like” fashion.
He will be supported by deputy chief procurement officer Sally Collier and David Shields, managing director of Government Procurement Service.
In his commercial relationships role, Crothers led the programme of supplier renegotiations that has led to savings on contracts with Microsoft and Oracle.
He said: “I am delighted to be taking up the role of chief procurement officer and leading government’s drive to become a more demanding and commercially astute client.
“Only two weeks ago we met with 20 of the government’s biggest suppliers, representing about £15 billion of annual spend, to set out the next phase of the government’s commercial programme. It was clear that they welcome the commercial reforms we have put in place and the opportunity to table further ideas.”
Due to his newly-merged role, as well as being responsible for procurement, Crothers will be responsible for the government’s commercial relationships and the performance of suppliers and the Crown Representative network, which ensures that government acts as a single client in supplier negotiations.
He will also become head of the procurement profession across Whitehall, be responsible for the new Commissioning Academy, which aims to train the commissioning and procurement skills of staff.
Crothers joined the civil service in 2007 as commercial executive director at the Identity and Passport Service, and became the group commercial director at the Home Office in 2010.
Prior to joining the public sector, Crothers, a chartered accountant, worked for Accenture for more than 20 years.
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