UK government buyers to be graded on performance

Central government buyers are to be assessed and graded on their ability to secure contracts.

Under the scheme, reported in the Financial Times and confirmed by the Cabinet Office (CO), every official with procurement responsibility will go on a training day at an assessment centre. Those scoring top marks – an A grade – will get improved pay and better terms and conditions.

These high fliers will also be transferred to the Government Commercial Organisation, being established as a “single employer for senior commercial professionals deployed to departments to lead the most complex and novel programmes and projects”, according to the CO.

But those who score a B will have to undergo further training and those who secure a C will be redeployed to non-commercial roles.

The exercise has been introduced by Gareth Rhys Williams, the government’s chief commercial officer, as part of efforts to improve public procurement.

A CO spokesperson said: “Improving the way government handles procurement is a key priority – it is all about getting the right people, the right structure, and the right systems to help us drive savings and performance.

“Assessing where we are right now is just the first step in delivering that ambition.”

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