My role as head of contract management


My background

Prior to joining the CPS my previous experience had been entirely in the private sector, in the utilities industry. My role as commercial operations manager looked after the end to end lifecycle of contracts for an energy company. The services delivered by my team were far reaching, looking after business development through to contract management and compliance of high value, high profile contracts delivering government environmental obligations levied on energy suppliers.  

I had been considering for some time to move across to the public sector to satisfy my desire to give back to the community. But it was equally important to me to ensure the job and subject matter was interesting. Heading up the contract management team at the CPS stood out to me as a great opportunity to tick both those boxes! There are standard support service contracts of course, but there are also very specific bespoke service requirements that you would not be exposed to elsewhere.

My inspiration

CPS have a very diverse and inclusive culture. From the top of the organisation there is a clear recognition that everyone works differently which is built into the fabric of policies across the organisation. The level of autonomy and flexibility to work in a way that suits us all as individuals is one of the best things about working for the CPS. I work flexibly (compressed full time hours) that provides me with the balance I need to fulfil both my work and family commitments. The hybrid working policy is also one of the most pragmatic and flexible I have come across – the ethos of attending the office for purpose (be that for meetings or wellbeing) is at the heart of it. 

Looking after people’s wellbeing and work/life balance is at the core of the values within the CPS – this is evident across the organisation not just within commercial.  

In the commercial team, we are going through a huge transformational change. We have the foundations in place and are looking for people to come and join us to help shape how we work in the future to get the best value for taxpayers, but also to make a real difference to improve day to day working for our internal colleagues at the front line of the justice system.  

My typical day 

My role involves working with internal and external stakeholders; both cross-Government and private sector suppliers. No two days are the same! One day agreeing multi-million pound extensions or variations to complex contracts, the next working with the Attorney General’s Office to devise and implement Modern Slavery processes that will make a real difference to people’s working conditions. I am currently working closely with the Cabinet Office to implement a strategic supplier relationship management with a key supplier; implementing joint business planning activities within all levels of the CPS and external supplier teams from operational delivery colleagues to UK directors and government Crown Representatives. I’m also currently building a new contract management framework to support all CPS teams who have interaction with our key suppliers with guidance and tools to get the most out of our contractual relationships. 

My biggest learning 

The CPS is a such an inspiring place to work; there is a clear line of sight from the work you will be doing to contributing to the efficient running of the justice system. For example, the contract with a big IT supplier that you manage, delivers the laptops that our prosecutor colleagues need to prepare for their work in court. Or the relationship that you nurture saves the day when seeking a bespoke evidential presentation package needed urgently for the courtroom. It really is a place that you can make a difference whatever point you are at in your career – if you are enthusiastic and keen to contribute, you will be rewarded with plenty of opportunities to develop your career, whilst also making a difference.  

Gemma Durkin, Head of Contract Management

Gemma Durkin, Head of Contract Management  

Gemma Durkin, Head of Contract Management