Welcome Message from Gareth Rhys Williams, Government Chief Commercial Officer
Thank you for your interest in joining HM Government’s Commercial Function. Building a strong Commercial Function in Government, and with it, the right commercial capability is at the heart of a far-reaching programme of Civil Service Reform.
Creating the Commercial Function is the response to the challenges that Government has faced in recent times, and is an essential element of the Government’s efforts to address the value for money agenda, while delivering higher quality public services.
My vision is to make the Government’s Commercial Function the best in the UK: staffed with top commercial specialists, creating and managing innovative, efficient and effective commercial arrangements. This is an exciting and diverse environment - our procurements can range from £100k to multi-billion pound contracts; with annual spend on individual contracts often exceeding £500m. Our supply base includes SME's and the largest multinationals; and our business models have the Government acting as shareholder or sponsor, as well as being an ‘intelligent client’.
We need to continue to improve our knowledge of the marketplace. We need to maximise value from our commercial dealings. We need senior commercial specialists across all Government Departments working collectively to address common ‘Crown’ objectives and acting as a single customer.
Government has recognised the crucial importance of building the senior leadership group within the Commercial Function; recognised as senior professionals, supported through ongoing specialised training and development, and encouraged to make personal progress. We need to build a cadre of commercial talent in all government departments; people who can manage our commercial portfolios, who can lead our most complex and novel programmes and projects, people who have the gravitas and depth of experience to work alongside our policy and operational leaders to develop innovative commercial arrangements, whether through joint ventures, outsourcing or best-in-class contracts.
Since Inception, the Commercial Recruitment Hub has successfully recruited over 400 commercial experts into a variety of government departments across our four senior grades.
I hope you will be inspired to join us and help lead the ongoing commercial reform agenda of the Civil Service. You won’t find a more exciting or diverse challenge elsewhere.
Gareth Rhys Williams,
Government Chief Commercial Officer
Background to the Government Commercial Function
The Civil Service is one of the biggest and most complex employers in the UK employing over 400,000 Civil Servants serving both Ministers and the public to deliver the priorities of the Government of the day. These include major projects with a lifecycle cost of around £500bn, as well as programmes and services that affect everyone in the United Kingdom. The annual spend is c. £45bn per annum with a range of suppliers including Small and Medium Enterprises.
Following issues with some major contracts and key suppliers, the Civil Service has committed itself to dramatically improving its commercial performance. This has included establishing a Commercial Function that will operate with, and in support of, departments. A senior Government Chief Commercial Officer was appointed from the private sector to head up the Commercial Function. This coincided with the first set of Commercial Standards published for Government in February 2016 and updated in November 2016, which we benchmark against.
Commercial resources are overseen by the function number some 4000 staff across Whitehall, and consists of:
- A number of core interlocking central teams working together on Policy, Standards and Continuous Improvement, Complex Transactions, Markets and Suppliers (that will build pan-government relationships with key suppliers) and Commercial Capability
- Colleagues in the Commercial Directorates within Departments and Agencies, and
- The Crown Commercial Service, a trading fund sourcing common goods and services for the Civil Service and the Wider Public Sector
The Commercial Function is led by Gareth Rhys Williams, the Government Chief Commercial Officer (GCCO). He reports directly to the Chief Executive of the Civil Service, John Manzoni.
Welcome from Rob Woodstock, Chief Commercial Officer HMRC
Thank you for your interest in this role in HMRC.
We don’t think of ourselves simply as an administrator of taxes: in terms of revenues collected, HMRC is larger than the world’s biggest multinational corporation. Every additional £1 we secure – whether through commercial savings or counter evasion measures, for example - is another £1 that can be spent on essential public services.
This is an exciting time to join the Department as we undertake a programme of radical transformation across HMRC, including Estates and IT, which will create the UK’s future tax administration. Our Estates transformation alone is probably one of the biggest and most complex of its type anywhere in Europe.
Commercial Directorate is also going through a period of transformation as we implement a new Operating Model to create the capacity and capability needed to deliver HMRC’s future business as usual and transformation commercial requirements. The recruitment of additional staff, including your role, is at the heart of that transformation. My vision is for us to be recognised across the public and private sector for achieving strategic business outcomes and sustainable value for money whilst proactively managing risk.
This role sits within the Corporate Services Category, which is responsible and accountable for all commercial activities other than those relating to Information Technology (IT) and Property & Facilities Management (P&FM), manages third party spend of c£300m pa.
The category includes major strategic expenditure such as financial and banking services, HR and training services and corporate communications but also covers a highly diverse portfolio of goods and services required to support HMRC’s activities. These include both generic areas of spend such as travel, print and fleet management and more niche requirements such as the haulage, storage and disposal of seized goods and fuel marker detection equipment.
Reporting to a Senior Category Specialist, you will support implementation of the overall category plan and define future requirements for allocated sub-categories, develop effective relationships with key internal stakeholders and ensure innovative, competitive and compliant commercial solutions are implemented and managed through the life of the contract