The Office for Government Commerce is offering funds to public bodies to
encourage e-auctions. The e-auction, sometimes known as the reverse auction,
involves suppliers competing in real time by bidding lower as the auction
unfolds. E-auctions comply with the EC Directives on Supplies and Services,
Utilities and Works. They offer efficient, open and transparent negotiations
either for lowest price or most economically advantageous tender, as part of
a full procurement process. They give value for money efficiencies in public
sector contracts with typical savings of 20 – 25%.
The grant given will be sufficient to fund in full an initial e-auction on
the understanding that the applicant will undertake a second, non-funded,
e-auction within 6 months. The funding will only be available to public
bodies that have never previously undertaken an e-auction. Applications for
funding that involves a partnership with other bodies will be looked on more
All local authorities should make their initial request for funding to their
Regional Centre of Excellence. Separate application arrangements apply to
the education sector and the police.