Headlines: April 16th, 2002

Public sector procurement takes a step forward this week with the Public Sector Expo, which opens at a new London venue, ExCeL, on Wednesday and Thursday (April 17 and 18, 2002).Coming straight after an environmental protest in Whitehall about the wood being used in government buildings the event is topical in focussing on sustainability.

A sustainability seminar, led by the new chair of the Sustainable Procurement Group, Dr Clare Poulter, will explore the need to buy greener goods and services throughout government. The SPG, recently set up at the request of Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, brings together both policy specialists and procurement practitioners to come up with practical, hard-edged recommendations for stimulating the purchase of greener goods, technologies and services across government on a greater scale than at present. Dr Poulter is also Deputy Chief Executive of OGCbuying.solutions.

It is this Treasury agency which organizes the Expo to spread as widely as possible new ideas to modernise procurement. Entrance and seminar places are free of charge.

E-commerce will be another key theme and the gathering will be offering procurement officers the chance to cut purchase processing costs from as much as 30 pounds per item to 30pence as well as delivering better value for money.

The event is supported by the Society of Procurement Officers in Local Government (SOPO), Healthcare Supplies Association, London Contracts and Supply Group, university purchasing consortiums and relevant professional groups.

Link and to register online: www.publicsectorexpo.com