‘Lessons we’ve learned will stand us in good stead’: CCS chief Simon Tse looks back on 2021

2020 may have been a year like no other, but 2021 was a chip off the old block and relentless from day one. The Crown Commercial Service chief executive tells us about 12 more months of dealing with Covid while pushing ahead with new challenges
Simon Tse. Photo: GOV.UK

By Civil Service World

21 Dec 2021


What was your highlight of 2021?

2021 has been an incredibly challenging year, and there are so many highlights. 

I’m immensely proud of how we’ve supported the public sector and our supply chains through our work on the response to the pandemic, digital transformation, social value and carbon net zero. 
The approach we’ve taken and the lessons we’ve learned over the past 12 months will stand us in good stead for 2022.

How did you tackle the biggest challenges facing your organisation in 2021?

Like so many public sector organisations, CCS has had to change and adapt. 

We’ve been involved in some of the most intense and important public procurement activity in recent years, including supporting the government’s response to Covid-19 and the repatriation of thousands of people during the Afghanistan crisis. 

So much of that comes down to the strength of our relationships with our customers and suppliers.

What is your number one priority for 2022?

At the end of the day, my priority always has to be creating more value for our customers. 
Growing spend through our commercial agreements is always important, as that provides more opportunities for aggregation and drives commercial benefits. 

But we have to expand the activities we can deliver, by being thought leaders on social value, carbon net zero and procurement reform, building ever stronger partnerships, and improving customer journeys with our new digital procurement tools. 

All of that added value we can bring is what will help the country to build back better.

Which historical, mythical or contemporary figure would you most like to join you for a New Year’s Eve celebration?

Nelson Mandela 


Commercial Leadership
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