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Cabinet Office names bean counter as chief buyer

Former Accenture man Crothers as chief procurement officer

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The Cabinet Office has anointed a bean counter to the role of Chief Procurement Officer, it confirmed today.

The department must be hoping that Bill Crothers lasts longer than his predecessor John Collington who came on board in April 2011 and resigned at the start of this month to join a recruitment firm.

The plan is to combine the existing buying and commercial relationship functions into a Commercial Procurement and Relationships Directorate as government tries to waste less taxpayer cash on products and services.

Crothers, a chartered accountant, worked as a senior exec at Accenture for 13 years before moving into the Civil Service in 2007 as the Cabinet Office's exec director of commercial relationships, renegotiating Ts&Cs with Microsoft and Oracle.

He will be charged with overseeing commercial relationships with suppliers across government, leading the Crown Representative network of negotiators and centralising public sector procurements.

The task set before him is to make government a "more demanding and commercially astute client", said Collington.

"Only two week ago we met with 20 of the Government's biggest suppliers, representing about £15bn of annual spend, to set out the next phase of the government's commercial programme," said Crothers.

He claimed these suppliers which included HP and IBM were tabling further ideas on ways to cut costs. ®

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