Headlines, PublicNet: 15 September, 2000

The drive is on towards full electronic trading between public bodies and their suppliers. Targets have been set for 50% of transaction to be procured electronically by December 2001 and 100% by December 2002.Experience in the private sector has shown cost savings of 60% in procuring low value goods and services. A possibly greater motivation for public bodies is believed to be the ability to use the data generated by the on line transactions to analyse the procurement picture in a way that paper based systems do not allow. At the top level the analysis will reveal who is buying what from whom. The Office for Government Commerce knows that central government spends 13 billion pounds annually on procurement, but it does not know what the money is buying. This information will allow the Office to negotiate lower prices with suppliers. There will also be other benefits from analysis in the form of supply management, price accuracy and standard specification.

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