Examination of Witnesses (Questions 160-163)|
GERSHON CBE AND
WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER 2001
160. Just permanent secretaries.
(Mr Gershon) There have been other meetings that have
brought together heads of procurement at various points. I was
very specific to say permanent secretaries.
161. On paragraph 12 of the recommendations
of the NAO it says: "We held a focus group of departmental
staff who commented that this was the first opportunity they had
had to talk to staff in other departments and share experience
and good practice in purchasing professional services."
(Mr Gershon) Yes, in professional services.
162. So apart from your meeting of permanent
secretaries, other departmental staff at a lower level do not
(Mr Gershon) No you cannot draw that conclusion. What
the report made was a specific observation that there had not
been a discussion amongst departmental representatives about the
specific issue of the procurement of professional services. That
is the specific statement of the NAO. You cannot extrapolate from
that to some general behaviour across government because it would
not be correct.
Chairman: There is a division in the House and
Mr Osborne has very kindly said that he does not require more
time. So it only remains for me to thank you.
163. Chairman, can I just say, Mr Gershon, that
it is your first appearance and I have enjoyed it very much.
(Mr Gershon) I did appear jointly with Sir Richard
Mottram on construction procurement some time ago but this was
the first time I was the sole principal witness.
Chairman: We all thought that you warmed to
your theme! Thank you very much.