Senior Commercial Manager – Science Capability Animal Health (SCAH) Programme – 3 roles available 13 views


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 DEFRA commercial team delivering departmental objectives.

Job description

We have 3 Associate Commercial Specialist vacancies in this team.
As Senior Commercial Manager you will report into the Commercial Director to lead the day to day Commercial and Procurement delivery of the SCAH programme. As well as managing and overseeing a team of up to 8 staff (in peak periods) on the procurement and contact management of the multiple projects and packages of work across the site. The correct candidate will be working closely with a team of senior appointees who will be responsible for programme management and resourcing, new build / design and construction, operations and change management and works to support operational continuity during transition.


Governance, Reporting and Assurance
This is a complex programme with both construction and high containment science at its heart. While you will report to the Commercial Director of the SCAH Programme, you will be required to comply with Defra group Commercial standards, governance and assurance processes. Further, you will be responsible for providing the commercial element of the Outline Business Case (OBC) /Final Business Case (FBC) and be able to support the programme in obtaining approvals from Cabinet Office, HMT, etc. You will be accountable for the execution of a commercial strategy to deliver and monitor multiple complex procurements required for delivery of the programme. To achieve this, you will need to lead the following activities;

    • Acquiring delivery partners and for clearly defining roles, responsibilities and accountabilities and establishing controls and approval routes appropriate to each stage of the programme;
    • Overseeing and conducting market appraisal and market engagement to stimulate a range of fit, proper and capable supply chain providers with suitable risk allocation and incentivisation strategies;
    • Ensuring that the procurements for this project align with Civil Service, Cabinet Office and Defra targets including the use of SMEs, Sustainability, Social Value, responsible supplier relationship management, etc;
    • Lead engagement with potential bidders and supply chain partners from the market-making phases through to the conclusion of the competition;
    • Procuring commercially and contractual instruments that offer value for money and appropriate risk balance for Defra and the wider Civil Service Execute a resilient and efficient procurement process in accordance with the DgC processes and procedures for all the commercial contracts for the site and wider science estate, including effective negotiation, accurate evaluation and legally defensible process 8 You will oversee the delivery of the contracts to ensure that Milestones and KPIs are met. You will be responsible for supporting and leading any required commercial interventions with suppliers You will actively plan for and manage both internal and external reviews at appropriate stages of the programme to provide assurance against time, cost, quality, compliance and viability. This will entail coordinating with and reporting to the Cabinet Office Spend Controls, Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA), HMT and the Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP) as required You will be responsible for providing leadership to a high calibre team of commercial and procurement specialists. Lead and provide support to an integrated project team and manage the commercial and legal relationships with the supply chain across Programme Areas. Deliver an assured contract commercial service in accordance with DgC Governance, process and Mandatory procedures that will optimise value for money and actively manage commercial risk and opportunity;

Stakeholder Management

    • You will be responsible for establishing and managing a range of relationships and key strategic alliances with internal and external stakeholders. As this will be one of the most visible, high profile and complex build programmes in Government in the coming decade, there will be a complex array of stakeholders who must be kept engaged and informed including science, operational, financial, and political interests. In particular, you will work closely with APHA leaders and scientists to ensure that we deliver a world-class facility that enables the Agency to grow and deliver future requirements. You will work with all stakeholders in a way that encourages collaboration and instils confidence and credibility in project and the value added through the procurement process.


    Delivering leadership and direction for the Commercial strategy and procurements/contract management for the programme. Championing its implementation to both internal and external stakeholders, including demonstrating excellence in procurement and commercial management. Ensuring that the programme complies with DgC Commercial standards and One Way of Working Building and leading a team of Commercial professionals and promoting an energised, inclusive culture focused on collaborative working in the interests of the organisation and the portfolio as a whole. The duties and responsibilities in this job description are not exhaustive. The post holder may be required to undertake other duties that may be required from time to time within the general scope of the post. Any such duties should not 9 substantially change the general nature of the post. This role description should develop along with the changing demands of Defra’s objectives and priorities.

Technical skills

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

  • Assertive – Demonstrable experience of working with senior stakeholders evidencing the communication, collaboration and gravitas to effectively challenge assumptions, negotiate and influence in complex, highly regulated environments.
  • Manages Complexity – A proven track record of having worked in a containment or regulated environment with a good knowledge of financial, legal and technical aspects of complex construction projects.
  • Commercial Focus – Proven track record of strong financial management, delivering value for money.
  • Builds Relationships – Proven experience in leadership; driving a diverse and inclusive working culture with employees, contractors, suppliers and consultants and leading through large-scale strategic change.
  • Procurement Process – Extensive Senior Management level experience of contract and procurement management; successfully leading and delivering a portfolio of multi-million-pound complex Commercial contracts on large build related projects.
  • Contract and Supply Management – Evidence of; procuring, & managing complex contracts & building collaborative supplier relationships including managing disputes across the supply chain to maximise innovation, value for money and efficiency.

Closing Date: Sunday 16th May 2021

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