Procurement guru McClelland to chair hub company

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JOHN McClelland, author of a hard-hitting report into public sector procurement, is to chair a body that will spend £600 million on infrastructure.

The South-West Hub Company – one of five “hubs” launched by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) to bring together councils, health boards and the emergency services to issue joint contracts for building work – covers one million people in Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway and Lanarkshire.

Private sector partners for the hub include fund manager Equitix and construction companies Galliford Try, John Graham and Kier.

McClelland told Scotland on Sunday he will use his experience of supply chain management gained at heavyweight outfits including IBM and Philips to bring contractors closer together to save money for the public purse.

The former Rangers football club chairman said: “Having written reports about public sector procurement, I’m looking forward to putting some of my ideas into practice in the construction industry. Just like in IT, there are efficiencies that can be gained if companies in the supply chain work more closely together.”

McClelland’s 2006 report criticised the wastage in the public sector and led to a revamping of the way contracts are awarded.

In 2011, the Scottish Government commissioned him to conduct a review of public sector spending on IT, which also led to changes to investment programmes.

McClelland, who was IBM’s vice-president of worldwide operations and sat on the board at Philips’ consumer electronics unit, is currently chairman of both the Scottish Funding Council, which awards cash to colleges and universities, and Skills Development Scotland.

John Hope, accommodation director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “John McClelland’s commercial experience will be invaluable to the on-going success of the South-West Hub Company.”

Scotland’s five hubs are expected to invest £2 billion together over the next ten years.