The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has appointed a top executive from oil giant Shell – the second senior recruit from the private sector to join the public sector procurement agency in a month.
Shell's Jonathan Simcock will become executive director of the OGC’s capital group, and will oversee the agency’s gateway reviews of public sector projects as well as leading work with the Treasury on the set up and development of the major projects review group (MPRG).
The move follows the appointment last month of Nigel Smith, president of Invensys Rail Systems, as OGC’s new chief executive.
Simcock, who will join OGC on secondment later this month, is currently overseeing the largest global change programme in Shell's history.
Acting OGC chief executive Peter Fanning said: "I am really pleased Jonathan Simcock will be joining the OGC, bringing with him a wealth of programme management experience at a time when OGC is driving forward the culture of best practice across major publicly funded programmes and projects."
Simcock will take on oversight of the gateway review teams as the agency battles to prevent publication of the review documents, following the Information Tribunal’s instruction to publish reviews of the controversial £5.3bn ID cards scheme under the Freedom of Information Act. The OGC has filed a high court appeal against the ruling, claiming that the review process would be compromised if documents were made public.
Last month, the Commons public accounts committee warned in a report on major government IT projects that the lessons of the reviews were “not shared consistently across departments”.
Simcock’s capital group will also support the MPRG, a new Treasury-led body that will scrutinise major projects at three critical stages: when their business cases are approved, before proceeding to tender and before contracts are signed. The capital group will also oversee management of the government’s £220bn estate.
The Shell executive – a trained engineer – comes to OGC after 25 years in the energy industry, working in the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. He has held both production and commercial roles and has developed business and undertaken merger and acquisition projects covering five continents.