Crown Commercial Service's Matt Denham hails savings progress – and vows to "encourage disruption"

“I love disruptive procurement,” says CCS’s commercial delivery director

By Jim Dunton

02 Mar 2016

The Crown Commercial Service is on course to exceed the top end of its savings target for 2015-16, according to delivery director Matt Denham – but the agency faces challenges in shaking up procurement practices.

CCS was set up in the last parliament to try and sharpen Whitehall's commercial skills and get better deals from suppliers by using departments' combined purchasing power.

Denham, who is the CCS’s commercial delivery director, told the Public Sector ICT Summit that the government procurement intermediary had an in-year savings target of £300m-£400m, and had already passed £380m at the end of January.

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But he also told the event – organised by CSW’s parent company Dods – that the nature and scale of the service’s 1,400-strong client base somestimes made it hard to coordinate practice.

“I love disruptive procurement,” he said. “There are huge opportunities out there, but it’s very difficult to get collaboration across departments, so I've got to focus the team's efforts on probably a handful of those.

“They will be difficult to land, but it will be disruptive, and it will be our Uber equivalent or our Airbnb equivalent.

“Because most of them have such a good return, it starts to get the attention of the people in the Treasury who count the big numbers. I'd encourage disruption.”

Denham told the event that he believed the CCS – an executive agency of the Cabinet Office that operates as a trading fund – would “easily” meet targets to save more than £2bn over the course of the current Spending Review period, which lasts until 2019-20.

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