Head of Commercial Strategy & Projects 23 views

Job Expired


Building a strong Commercial Function in Government, and with it the right commercial capability, is at the heart of a far-reaching programme of Civil Service reform.

We are building a cadre of commercial talent in all Government departments; people who can manage our commercial portfolios, who can lead our most complex and novel programmes and projects, people who have the gravitas and depth of experience to work alongside our policy and operational leaders to develop innovative commercial arrangements, whether through joint ventures, outsourcing or best-in-class contracts.

The Government Commercial Organisation is an employer which is truly committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and are able to perform to their potential. We understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and strive for a workplace that reflects the communities which we serve. We especially welcome applications from underrepresented groups including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, candidates with a disability and candidates with gender-diverse identities. Appointments will be made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

We have already made significant progress through the establishment of the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO), our single employer of senior commercial talent across government. This role will sit within the GCO, but based in our Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs commercial team delivering departmental objectives.

Job description

In this role, you will provide expert advice, guidance and support to senior managers and external partners in order to effectively underpin risk based decision making and support environmental outcomes. You will undertake a strategic leadership and influencing role. You will provide expert advice to the business on commercial issues and governance.


The Head of Commercial Strategy and Projects role will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer.
You will:

  • Lead, motivate and manage a professional commercial team, made up of 5 FTE and circa 5 additional interim resources from time to time, to deliver corporate outcomes and to ensure continuous improvement in the field of procurement.;
  • Lead on the development of team members ensuring that agreed targets are met;
  • Lead on production of the Functional Plan, Blueprint and the development and maintenance of a category management strategy process on behalf of customers;
  • Lead by example in our approach to sustainability and communicating its importance, influencing others to improve their approach. Ensure sustainability is considered throughout our work and is the responsibility of all;
  • Provide strategic leadership on the department’s stakeholder engagement plan including the development of quarterly commercial pipeline plans and corresponding resource allocations whilst recognising the importance of the customers commercial drivers / objectives;
  • Lead on financial management for the Department and all interfaces with Finance thereby reducing inefficiency and cost, while increasing the quality of commercial outcomes;
  • Effectively influence customers across the network to deliver value for money, setting savings targets and sustainable outcomes in the procurement of works, goods and services;
  • Drive and promote DGC’s capability to key stakeholders such as Ministers, Directors and senior management peers to ensure commercial best practise is applied and is able to influence strategic decision-making;
  • Promote commercial principles within the Defra group and wider Government influencing where appropriate;
  • Provide expert advice on commercial risk management and deliver mitigation plans / strategies to manage identified risks at corporate level;
  • Enable customer directorates to develop their commercial capability;
  • Influence on driving innovation into the Defra group;


Commercial Strategy

  • Responsible for commercial strategy and planning, including Commercial Blueprint, commercial element of the Single Departmental Plan, and DGC short term and long term plans, such as annual functional objectives and category and commercial strategies;
  • Accountable for the setting, monitoring and for driving commercial benefits and delivery of our efficiency target (8 : 1 RoI);

Portfolio Management & Governance

  • Responsible for the establishment and ongoing review of the DgC governance regime, including overseeing the secretariat for the DgC Senior Management Team, the Category Management Board and the Transformation Board, as well as ongoing coordination with other department governance regimes;
  • Responsible for the establishment of a Portfolio Management Office, providing assurance and monitoring of the Commercial Pipeline, special commercial programmes (such as EU Transition, Future Farming, Science Capability in Animal Health), and other special business change programmes and projects;

Financial & Workforce Management

  • Accountable for the effective management of the DgC budget to ensure quality delivery of DgC objectives, including leading on the production of the annual budget and spending review submissions.;
  • Accountable for the workforce planning and governance process to manage resource allocation to support the delivery of DGC Directorate’s commercial outcomes and priorities;

Business Relationship Management & Partnerships

  • Responsible for the facilitation of the Business Relationship Management framework, including the development with customers of their quarterly pipeline requirements and management of incoming demand. Will work in conjunction with other Category leads to manage the customer relationship
  • Responsible for the relationship with the Cabinet Office and other key government organisations;
  • Responsible for senior stakeholder engagement including the Chief HR Officer in the Civil Service, Department Director Generals, Commercial Directors and Chief Executives from customers and supplier organisations;

Commercial Analysis

  • Responsible for the provision of commercial analysis support to provide insight into commercial and supply market intelligence, spend and market analysis, and commercial reviews for business cases and procurement strategies;
  • Responsible for the management of Freedom of Information requests and Parliamentary Questions;

Financial Scheme of Delegation

All Senior Commercial Managers have a delegated authority at all stages of the commercial process:

  • Sign off of Commercial Strategies and Contract Award Reports up to £5 million;
  • Make commercial commitments up to £5 million;
  • Single Tender Action (up to £250k);

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Risk Mindset: Analysis, development and management of service areas value proposition, with evidence of continuing commitment risk and improvement.
  • Decisive: An accomplished commercial professional with a track record of setting high standards and delivering results in a complex and demanding environment.
  • Commercial Focus: A highly developed strategic thinker with a history of operational delivery in challenging complex commercial environments.
  • Builds Relationships: Experienced as a successful leader developing and building and stakeholder relationships and managing capabilities with suppliers, clients and colleagues alike.
  • Strategy and Policy Development: Evidence of your delivery of strategy and policy initiatives to continuously improve procurement processes that improve corporate outcomes.

Clsoing Date: 02nd May 2021

More Information

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