Headlines: April 26th, 2004

Public bodies in Wales are on track to save 90 m pounds on procuring goods and services by 2010. This represents an annual saving of 3% on a spend of 3b pounds. The Welsh procurements Initiative, launched by the Welsh Assembly in 2002 is the first public sector body in Europe to address the entire public sector procurement activity of a nation. The WPI received the 2003 public sector central award for procurement excellence by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.In the last year 7.2 m pounds savings have been identified across the whole of the Welsh public sector. This is 1.2 m pounds more than the target. The largest contributor to the savings is a 6.7 m pounds reduction in telecommunications costs. There are also savings by the NHS on the purchase of medical equipment. The WPI has introduced a Welsh Purchasing Card in conjunction with Royal Bank of Scotland and this is now delivering savings.

The role of the WPI is to act as a catalyst for savings and sustainable benefits to the economy, environment and communities of Wales. Its work centres around 21 Pathfinder projects designed to improve procurement processes and practice across all areas of public service. In 2003 the Welsh Local Government Association joined the Welsh Procurement Initiative with a dedicated team to drive improvements in procurement practice across its 22 member authorities.