Malcolm Harrison: Crown Commercial Service chief executive on refreshing commercial frameworks in 2018

Written by Civil Service World on 2 January 2018 in Feature

At the end of 2017, we asked the UK's top civil servants to look back at the year, outline their goals for 2018 – and tell us what they cannot do Christmas without

What are you most proud of achieving in 2017?

For Crown Commercial Service, 2017 has been about continued progress. We have defined our standard service, we are embedding the revised right operating model, and we now have the right people in the team. We are working to ensure that the commercial solutions we put in place for our customers are fit for purpose, that the focus is right, and that we’re delivering value for money and a quality service. We met or exceeded our targets in terms of commercial delivery last year and, currently, we are on track to do the same this year. Perhaps most important are the more positive developments in our relationships with customers; increasingly, we’re winning their confidence. 

What was your most difficult decision in 2017?

Deciding to move away from some of the commitments made when CCS was established. This was clearly the right thing to do, though going back on a commitment is never something to take lightly. Consolidating our standard service offer meant taking tough decisions about what services we would no longer offer to some of our central government customers and communicating those decisions to them. It made no sense for CCS to handle aspects of contract management, which is much better done nearest to the point of use of goods or services. We’re now focused on ensuring we are delivering the best value for our customers in central government, encapsulated in our new standard service. For the most part our customers have welcomed this clarity and focus.

What are your organisation’s top priorities in the year ahead?

In 2018 we will be putting in place more of the category strategies that we’re currently developing in partnership with customers. As those strategies are finalised, we will be refreshing our commercial solutions – frameworks or otherwise – to make them as commercial as we want them to be. We have some important frameworks going live, with significant targets for growth in spend, and a particular focus on building our profile with the wider public sector. We will continue our work to simplify tender documents and terms and conditions, making government easier to do business with.

We will focus on building capability to deliver great commercial value and better service.

For you, no Christmas holiday is complete without…

Time with family and friends, long walks in the countryside and evenings in front of a warm fire with the usual array of festive games and puzzles – and of course watching the Queen at 3pm on Christmas Day.


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