In conversation with Simon Tse
Simon Tse is the Chief Executive of the Crown Commercial Service and will be delivering a keynote session at the Public Sector Solutions Expo on 26th June 2019.
Having officially taken over as Chief Executive of CCS in December 2018, what do you hope to have achieved by December 2019?
CCS has great people with a clear understanding of our objectives and the part they play in achieving them. Our latest staff survey showed an overall engagement rate of 66%, and we’ll build on that.
Our new Customer Experience Directorate is strengthening relationships among Wider Public Sector and Arm’s Length Bodies. Its role in CCS’s transformation journey is to listen and to help customers get the best value.
We continue to put our digital agenda at the fore – innovations will make our processes more intuitive and attractive to use. For example, the CCS Fleet Portal lets customers direct award to suppliers on our vehicle purchase and lease frameworks. An average of 11,500 lease quotes are generated monthly, delivering market comparator customer savings of 11.3%. We also go beyond price – adding the social value opportunities customers demand whether its creating apprenticeships, reducing carbon emissions, promoting equality and diversity or assuring modern slavery-free supply chains.
Can you highlight some successes of CCS supporting the Government Commercial Function?
CCS is an integral part of the Government Commercial Function – which brings together all those involved in commercial and procurement roles across government. Through our category and procurement expertise we are able to provide support to commercial teams which operate throughout central government every day.
We work closely with partners to ensure they get what they need from the agreements we design and manage. For example Defence Infrastructure Organisation, were to be the largest single user of our recently awarded Facilities Management agreement. Our facilities management team used its commercial and operational expertise to collaborate with them to ensure the agreement met their needs. We’re also supportive of the GCF’s agenda to improve commercial capability across government. We’ve shown this in practice by adding Band 5s and G7s to the Government Commercial Organisation – this makes us one of the largest participants in the project.
What are your wider ambitions for CCS in the future, how do you plan to build on Malcolm Harrison’s work?
We are going to double the size of the spend through CCS’s commercial agreements within the next five years. To achieve this, CCS is going to lead a step change in the way that the public sector buys its common goods and services. Through a wide ranging digital offering, we’re going to enable quick and easy access to CCS’s commercial products and solutions so public sector buyers – whether they are in a school, a local authority, or central government – are always going to be able to get great value. At the same time, we’re going to provide tailored services to a wide range of customers – not just central government, but also Arms Length Bodies and the Wider Public Sector – supporting them in their use of our commercial agreements and, where appropriate, providing bespoke solutions which leverage our category and procurement capability to maximise commercial benefits.