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By | Kelly Fiveash 20th April 2011 11:17 brings Whitehall procurement under one roof

I'll have a 'P' please, Bob

The government has created a new Chief Procurement Officer role in an effort to drive down costs by bringing the buying of goods and services under one roof in Whitehall.

John Collington will head up's efforts to centralise procurement spending and oversee the Buying Solutions agency.

He previously worked in a very similar job focused on office efficiency for the Cabinet Office.

David Smith, who is the commercial director at the Department for Work and Pensions, will take on the role of Collington's procurement deputy while remaining in his job at the DWP.

Last week the government made Smith a Crown representative responsible for managing relationships and contract renegotiations with some of Whitehall's key suppliers.

The government claimed today that its renegotiating skills with suppliers had so far reeled in £800m in savings since the Coalition was formed in May last year.

"This new role will allow [Collington] to drive real transformation in government procurement, which in turn will realise significant savings for the taxpayer," said Cabinet minister Francis Maude.

The chief executive of the government's Buying Solutions, Alison Littley, announced she was leaving the quango in February, after five years at the helm of the agency. ®

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