John Ivil, who led New Zealand Government procurement and the creation of the all-of-government contract system, is leaving after 11 years.
Over his term as general manager of New Zealand Government Procurement and Property, a division of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Ivil tried to shift the emphasis away from the cost of procurement to achieving increased value for government buyers.
More recently he has led the division's response to the current government's drive to achieve broader social outcomes from procurement and introduced a procurement graduate programme.
Ivil will depart his role at the end of October, but will continue to serve as a specialist advisor on some of NZGPP’s core strategic procurement and assurance services, on a part-time basis.
In a 2014 report to Treasury, Ivil noted the government was spending around $39 billion with third-party suppliers – accounting for approximately approximately 18 per cent of GDP.
"Effective procurement helps government agencies deliver better public services while realising value for money," he wrote.
"How and what the government procures can also have a significant influence on economic growth. Government agencies often provide an important source of demand for business to build scale and experience before they supply to private customers or export markets."
There were more opportunities for improved value and performance in third party spending than there was in making the procurement function itself more efficient, he argued.
"Even a one per cent improvement in value gained from third party spend would represent $200 million annually. In comparison, a 10 per cent reduction in the expenditure on the procurement function reported by agencies participating in this year’s report would provide a gross annual saving of about $6 million."
Ivil will also continue as chair of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) working party of the leading practitioners on public procurement.
New Zealand is now ranked first in the world in government procurement.
MBIE said it would launch a recruitment process for a permanent general manager soon.