Headlines: August 6th, 2004

Using an electronic e-auction, councils in West Yorkshire selected a supplier a for a contract worth in the region of £400,000 from four bidders. The councils who shared in the procurement are Wakefield, Kirklees, Doncaster and Calderdale. Unlike the bids on the popular “eBay” website the purpose of this e-auction was to drive prices down, not up.The e-auction process involves suppliers competing in real time by bidding lower as the auction unfolds. e-auctions disclose the lowest price for each potential supplier, but they are not about price alone and other factors, such as quality and delivery, can be taken into account. They comply with the EC Directives on procurement.

The Office for Government Commerce encourages public bodies to make more use of e-auctions because they offer efficient, open and transparent negotiations and give value for money efficiencies in public sector contracts. Cost savings can average 20 – 25%.

Suppliers also recognize the benefits of online bidding because of transparency and increased market awareness.

Guidance on e-Auctions from the Office for Government Commerce is available at:

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