Procurement Leader 2020

We are delighted to announce that Philip Gurnett, EPS Director & Head of Sourcing Education, received the Procurement Leader 2020 award at the National Procurement Awards ceremony (digitally-formatted) on 16th December, 2020.

Philip has a successful track record of achievement as a leader and senior manager in the public and private sector spanning three decades, demonstrating the necessary vision, knowledge, expertise and resource management skills to align strategy, drive improvement and influence performance.

Philip successfully positioned the Education Procurement Service (EPS) as the Department of Education and Skills (DES) sector sourcing hub under the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) model.  In 2013 he was appointed to the OGP executive as Head of Sourcing Education with responsibility for implementing and operating the centralised procurement model and he is responsible for sourcing education procurement spend of approx. €900m per annum.


As Director of the EPS, he has established and developed a business model and change management strategy to on-board the model and has delivered savings of over €20m to date. Through his strong leadership and change management, he created a national shared service where he oversaw the centralisation and transfer of education sector procurement tendering functions to one shared office, including the recruitment and the development of staff and the design and implementation of new systems of administration and finance. Key to his success is his ability to form trusted relationships with the senior accounting officer groups of the University, IoT and ETB partners.


Philip’s visionary leadership was the driving force behind the establishment of the EPS.  Working with the Department of Education in driving the shared services plan in the sector, Philip has forged close working relationships across the complexity of representative bodies including the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Irish Universities Association (IUA), Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI).

Best Procurement Internal Collaboration Project of the Year award

Video link to the Best Procurement Internal Collaboration Project of the Year award

Well done to the EPS team on winning the Best Procurement Internal Collaboration Project of the Year award.  This was a fantastic win, not only for the team and our partners in the Department of Education and Higher Education Authority but all the Higher Education Institutions and ETBs who have engaged fully with us in the rollout of the Multi Annual Procurement Planning (MAPP) forecasting model and whom EPS are delighted to share such a significant award and recognition for the success of this collaborative sector initiative.

The forecasting model has allowed EPS to collect, aggregate and analyse spend data from across the sector bodies through the MAPP programme of work which is central to the planning process for procurement in the education sector.   We look forward to progressing and extending the work to date across the sector into the future, in collaboration with all our partners.  EPS recognises that achieving buy-in and valuing the importance of contribution from its multiple stakeholders are essential factors to the future development and continued success of leading best practice education procurement initiatives in the public sector.  We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the cooperation and engagement extended from our colleagues at the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) in meeting with EPS to review the detailed MAPP Category Reports and working with us and representative subject matter experts in the education sector by incorporating the spend data and information contained in the MAPP reports into the design and planning process for future drawdown under cover of national frameworks and arrangements.


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