Category: A day in the life, Interview, Government, service, department of transport, DFT careers
Interview with Claire Spink talking about her time as Head of Goverment Car Service at DfT
How long have you worked at the Department for Transport (DfT)?
I joined DfT over 20 years ago and have held a number of very different roles. I like the variety of opportunities a large department like DfT has to offer.
What’s your role?
In my current role, I lead the Government Car Service, an operational unit responsible for providing secure transport for Ministers across Government.
What does a typical day looks like for you and what have you been working on?
Part of the l reason I love this job is that there are no typical days. I could be helping the team manage a resourcing problem, be discussing long term financial planning or resolving a difficulty with a customer. I also get to test new vehicles to advise Ministers about adding to the fleet, brief Ministers on current issues and draft replies to Parliamentary Questions.
What’s your most memorable moment?
Sitting in Christies watching the sale of the last official car used to drive Baroness Thatcher having sought Ministerial approval for the sale and worked through all the procurement processes in appointing a suitable auction house.
What’s your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
Moving GCS from its home of 30 years to a new site a couple of years ago. I was responsible for developing the business case for the move, finding a suitable new base, appointing contractors to get the new site up to standard, and clearing the old site to reduce our dilapidations liabilities. You need to be quite hands on in this job and in the case of the move, we all worked to fill skips and clear out junk.
What’s the toughest part of your role?
This role is challenging on many levels. As Head of Division I’m responsible for a huge range of things and the buck stops with me. You need to be resilient, able to take decisions and defend them while also taking into consideration a wide range of factors.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of joining DfT?
It’s a great department to work for with a huge variety of roles to keep you engaged and interested. The people are great and there are lots of opportunities to get involved beyond the team you currently work in to develop contacts and networks.
Having enjoyed nearly 5 years at GCS, it’s time for a new challenge. I’m taking on a really exciting Brexit related role on loan from DfT to HMRC.
If you would like to apply for Head of Government Car Service click here!
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