Managing Risk in Outsourcing: A Cross Sector Conversation with the Cabinet Office

Following on from the publication of the Outsourcing Playbook earlier this year and the continued cross sector conversation about best practice in outsourcing, WIG is delighted to announce this panel session looking at managing risk. Along with private sector comments from Rupert Soames, Group Chief Executive Officer at Serco, you will hear from Clare Gibbs OBE, Director of Outsourcing at the Cabinet Office and Meryl Bushell, Crown Representative, also from the Cabinet Office.

We will address:

  • Managing risk by defining the required outcomes of outsourcing
  • Understanding market and supplier resilience and identifying barriers to market entry for the private sector
  • Managing the allocation of risk between suppliers and the government

About the speakers:

Clare Gibbs OBE, Director of Outsourcing, Cabinet Office

Clare Gibbs joined the Civil Service in 1998, spending the majority of her career within the Ministry of Defence and the National Crime Agency before moving to the Cabinet Office in March 2017. As a qualified accountant and senior commercial specialist, Clare has undertaken a variety of challenging roles within finance and commercial domains and led commercial negotiations for major procurements.

On joining the Cabinet Office Clare was appointed as a Strategic Partnering Manager for Carillion and Amey.

Clare was part of the government’s response to the collapse of Carillion and played a pivotal role in ensuring public services were maintained. She is now leading the Outsourcing Programme.

Clare was awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list.

Meryl Bushell, Crown Representative, Cabinet Office

Meryl set up her own consultancy and coaching business in 2007 after many years in the telecommunications industry. She specialises in senior executive coaching, leadership and consultancy services. Her clients include FTSE 100 companies, major financial institutions, consultancy partnerships and global corporations. Meryl has extensive boardroom experience having sat on PLC, public sector and voluntary sector boards. At BT she led the procurement, supply chain and property functions and was responsible for an annual spend budget of £7bn. At BT she was also companywide Champion for Corporate Social Responsibility. Currently she is a Crown Representative with the Cabinet Office, managing the pan Government relationship with three of their strategic suppliers, and a NED at James Latham PLC, where she chairs the remuneration committee.

She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and sat on the board of management of the Institute for three years from 2007 to 2010. She is a previous director of Gateway to London, SupplierForce, South London Healthcare Trust and the Institute of Telecoms Professionals. Meryl first trained as a coach in 1998 with Senn Delaney and since then has gained extensive coaching and mentoring experience. In 2009 she completed the Tavistock Institute’s certified Coaching for Leadership and Professional Development programme. She has an MSc in Organisational Behaviour, and was recently awarded a PhD from Warwick Business School. The subject of her research was the role of social capital and netwroking in corporate board selection processes.

Rupert Soames OBE, Group Chief Executive Officer, Serco

Rupert joined Serco as Group Chief Executive on 1 May 2014, tasked with turning around what was, at the time, a troubled business. Over the last four years, Serco has been transformed into a specialist supplier of services to Government in Health, Defence, Transport, and Justice and Immigration, employing some 50,000 people and operating in 16 countries. He joined Serco from Aggreko plc, the temporary power business, where he served 11 years as Chief Executive. During his tenure at Aggreko, the market capitalisation of the business increased from £450 million to over £5 billion.

Prior to Aggreko, he was with the software company Misys plc for five years, latterly as Chief Executive of its Banking and Securities Division. He spent the first 16 years of his career at GEC plc. He studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University and was President of the Oxford Union.
Rupert is a Non-Executive Director of DS Smith, the FTSE-100 packaging company, where he is a member of the Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees and, until recently, he was a senior Independent Director of Electrocomponents plc and a member of the Remuneration, Nomination and Audit Committees.
Rupert is also a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University.

Georgina Kon, TMT Partner, Linklaters

Georgina advises on information governance, technology and sourcing issues. She advises on a variety of matters from both a commercial and regulatory (including privacy) perspective, including on the use of innovative technologies, the roll-out of new target operating models to promote agility and efficiency, software licensing structures/chains and terms, and IT/sourcing disputes.

Georgina also advises customers and suppliers in the public and private sectors on all aspects of their most complex, innovative and mission-critical sourcings. She makes it a priority to ensure that the contracts she puts in place are workable in practice and reflect constantly evolving, good sourcing and commercial practice. She has significant experience in public procurement issues from the government’s perspective.

Georgina has advised a wide range of public and private clients on IT, sourcing and data matters. Those that can be disclosed include advising:

  • One of the world’s largest data analytics organisations on its comprehensive, multi-million pound programme for general data protection regulation compliance (including in relation to privacy impact assessments of key products and the use of big data to combat financial crime)
  • The Ministry of Defence on a suite of ICT outsourcings that are expected to deliver savings of over £1bn over 10 years
  • The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority on the early termination of its outsourcing to ETS of tests operations services for Key Stage 1, 2 & 3 SATs exams. QCA secured a deal under which ETS paid back £19.5m and cancelled invoices worth £4.6m


Unfortunately this event is now closed for booking.