Denis McFadden, Head of ICT Collaborative Procurement, Scottish Government

Written by Alan Robertson on 26 November 2015 in Feature

For 100 days, Connect is running through our Tech 100 for 2015, profiling the key figures driving the digital agenda in Scotland

Denis McFadden

Job Title/Organisation: Senior Portfolio Manager, Head of ICT Collaborative Procurement, Scottish Government

What does your role involve?

I lead a great team which delivers national collaborative ICT agreements on behalf of everyone in the Scottish public sector, as well as the third sector and charities. We always aim to get the best possible deal for the public sector (which is never just about price).

A large part of the role involves supplier and stakeholder engagement and we are promoting a joined-up community of ICT buyers across the public sector to better understand what our customers want.

What do you consider to be the most imminent challenge in your line of work?

Public procurement can still seem to some to be about just buying to the lowest price but it is really about delivering overall value for money and driving further “value” from contracts e.g. environmental, economic, fair work and community benefits. This is what our Scottish Model of Procurement is all about.  

What has been the most rewarding piece of work you've undertaken?

It is always satisfying when we deliver new collaborative contracts but the most rewarding piece has been the opportunity to work with a great number of “can do” positive people from across the Scottish public sector and none so than my team who have previously won Holyrood Connect Team of the Year and during 2015 the Scottish GO Procurement Team of the Year. 

How can Scotland bridge the digital skills gap?

Like most folk, I think this needs to start with school education. I have also been really impressed with the ambitions of initiatives like CodeClan.

Which new technology excites you the most?

Technology that really helps people is exciting. The development of our eCommerce procurement system that brings improvement to quality of life for sick children is a fantastic example. This development enables carers to directly access our supply chains to make life easier at a critical time. This video provides the background and I would recommend watching it.    

What's your favourite app and why?

As a cycling enthusiast it has to be anything to do with maps - I’m terrible with directions - or with apps like Strava so I can keep tabs on my buddies training activities.

What, for you, will 2016 be the year of from a technology/digital standpoint?

The ongoing drive towards collaboration and shared services will require the need for more flexible and robust collaborative online tools and also the need for enhanced mobile technology.

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