Headlines: April 20th, 2004

Members of local councils should play a greater role in the procurement processes that deliver local services. This will allow them to meet the ‘political priorities’ on which they have been elected. The call comes from Procurement & Partnership: Making it work, Doing it Right – a new collection of essays by key experts and professionals from across the local government procurement field. The document is published by the New Local Government Network, an independent think tank.The argument for councillor involvement is put by Bryony Rudkin, Leader of Suffolk County Council: ” The idea that councillors should be kept away from procurement is frankly quite baffling because we have the skills between us that represent the community. For members, it means full involvement in the development of the procurement strategy, and in larger procurement projects as well. It’s an ability to allocate saving corporately.”

The NLGN publication was launched simultaneously with a report on the benefits to local government of e-procurment by the National eProcurement Project. The report reveals findings of increasing evidence that best practice procurement coupled with e-procurement solutions can deliver significant benefits to councils. It estimates that the cost of goods and services could be reduced by 1.1bn pounds overall. The adoption of e-tendering processes could result in the reduction of 725 staff and 8 m pounds savings in overhead costs. By using e-purchasing & procurement cards, the resulting process efficiencies could lead to a reduction of 2,560 staff.

Link: New Local Government Network: http://www.nlgn.org.uk

National eProcurment Project: http://www.nepp.org.uk/80256D890046730A/httpPublicPages/6735FE511D46DA1580256D89005437F2?open.