A civil servant from the Office of Government Commerce comes to visit the office today to talk about construction procurement and reverse e:auctions. He wants us to promote the concept amongst DLOs by getting them to combine their supplies procurement. This is a concept that interests us and we agree to help promote it by inviting the civil servant to participate in our building maintenance workshop at the Performance Networks seminar in Blackpool.
It is interesting that word appears to be getting around numerous Government departments that if they want to talk about doing things then they go elsewhere but if they want to actually get to the people who deliver on the ground then APSE is an excellent conduit to help implement policy.
However, it reminds me of a story of a civil servant from the DTI who visited us about 18 months ago who had cross government responsibility for construction skills shortages. When I challenged him about the fact that Government policy from other departments was actually contributing to skills shortages by reducing the number of apprenticeships taken on in the public sector, his answer astounded me. He said that there was only 3 people in his team and that he had only held the brief for 3 years and was only now getting his head around the issues, but he was due to move soon as civil servants only stay in the one role for 4 years.
All aboard the civil service merry go round then!