About The Office of Government Procurement (OGP)
The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) is an office of the Department of Public Expenditure NDP Delivery and Reform and plays a leading role in public service reform through delivery of the Public Procurement Reform Programme. They maintain the national public procurement policy framework and represent Ireland in the development of EU and international public procurement policy. They are strengthening the analysis of public sector spending and the management of data.
Careers in the OGP offer our people the opportunity to do purposeful work, which makes a real difference to the Irish State and its people. The OGP is proud of its work in creating a supportive environment for its people to develop, contribute and lead. It has developed a progressive and inclusive people strategy, EMPOWER, and is one of the first civil service organisations to be certified as a Great Place to Work.
The OGP has recently launched a Leadership model, which displays our commitment to identify, build and enhance the leader in everyone. Leadership at all levels is critical for the OGP to grow and develop as an organisation and this new Model enables all our people to tap into leadership capabilities, regardless of grade or career stage. The OGP values are; We Care, We are Inclusive, We Empower, We Lead the Way and We Make a Difference.
Category Specialist Career Opportunities
Applications for the Category Specialist competition are now open and will close at 3pm on Thursday, 29th June 2023. To find out more information and to apply for the role, follow the link to the Category Specialist job listing.
Mandy is a Category Specialist with the Office of Government Procurement. She talks to us about her role, experiences and opportunities that have been made available to her since joining the civil service. Mandy tells us about how rewarding her role is and how she has had the chance to take advantage of further education.
Q1. Tell us a bit about your role?
I joined The Office of Government Procurement in January 2020 as a Category Specialist where I am currently assigned to the Travel, HR & Managed Services Portfolio. I am a member of the Training Category team within this portfolio. The Training team deliver compliance training frameworks examples which include Freedom of Information Training, Open Data Training, Protected Disclosures Training and Health and Safety Training. My role in the team involves working with my manager and team to deliver all projects on time in an efficient and effective manner.
I also build and maintain working relationships with a wide range of stake holders across all sectors in the public and civil service, including central government, local government, health, defence and education to understand and assess their requirements.
Q2. What were your reasons for applying for Category Specialist in the OGP?
I worked in private sector since 2000. All my roles had a degree of procurement but not in a regulated procurement environment. From my research into the OGP, it was evident it was an organisation which was growing and offered exciting career opportunities to its employees both in a professional and self-development context
Q3. What are some of the benefits and supports available to you?
The People and Culture Unit offer great benefits and support to new and existing employees. The accessibility to Wellness and Wellbeing courses alongside One Learning courses are great. Support from colleagues across the organisation is also excellent.
Q4. What opportunities has this role provided for you?
I have returned to further education since I joined the OGP. My manager and colleagues encouraged me to complete the Certificate in Civil Service and State Agency Studies Certification when I joined. With this qualification I gained a broad understanding of the variety of Civil and Public service bodies to whom I am assisting as a Category Specialist in the OGP. I also received an important ‘system-wide induction’ to the roles and functions of the various sectors of government and the key processes such as legislation, budgeting, modernisation and government decision making.
I also successfully completed the Certificate in Public Procurement which gave me a fantastic technical overview of procurement from both a National and EU perspective. During the course, I had the opportunity to meet fellow procurement specialists who work in a variety of public service bodies and have gained a good understanding of what they do and how important the role of procurement is for the functioning of their departments.
Q5. What has surprised you since joining the OGP?
I have to say how vast the public procurement field actually is. The amount of institutional knowledge and expertise is exceptional and as a result, the amount of supports you receive to do your job are incredible. The encouragement and assistance you get along with further educational opportunities really do give you the confidence to actively do your role well. I joined just as the COVID public emergency arrived but I never once felt isolated or couldn’t reach out to a colleague or manager to get assistance or indeed advise on how to perform my role.
Q6. What aspect of the role do you particularly enjoy?
I enjoy working on projects from the planning to strategy to implementation to the actual tendering process and finally to contract award. It is very interesting working with both internal and external stakeholders and also sectoral representative from for e.g. Health, Education throughout the lifetime of a project.
Q7. Would you recommend a career in the OGP and why?
Yes for sure. The work is interesting, days are busy but rewarding when you see contracts and arrangements being utilised across the public and civil service. Blending working arrangements allow for a sustainable work life balance which is most welcome. You are always given the opportunity to grow on both a personal and professional level. I am proud to say that I am part of an organisation which plays a key role in helping the State to save money when buying goods and services.