Headlines: August 21st, 2006

COUNCIL PROCUREMENT COSTS SET TO FALL

 

The nine Regional Centres of Excellence are taking the national procurement programme forward with plans that are designed to unlock millions of pounds in local government efficiencies. The plans will seek to transform local government procurement and make major efficiencies in the billions spent each year by the sector on goods and services.

The regional centres will set up procurement action groups made up of multi-disciplinary teams of procurement experts, to deliver efficiency gains in key markets. They will seek out the best deals, using price leverage among other approaches. Detailed plans are already in place for the key markets of postal services and energy while other markets, such as ICT hardware, telecoms and temporary staff, are set to be considered by directors of the regional centres in the near future. Savings from postal services are expected to be about 20 million pounds and the councils involved will share in the benefits

Each action group will prepare top quality guidance for councils in the form of ‘How to’ guides to help them get the very best deals around. The guides will be promoted by the regional centres which will be on hand to advise councils on how to migrate their spend onto new, more advantageous contracts.

In the longer term, the use of e-procurement across local government is estimated to result in 1.1 billion, pound reduction in the costs of goods and services. E-tendering efficiencies in processing are estimated at 725 staff with a further reduction of 8 million pounds savings in e-tendering overheads, such as accreditation of suppliers. e-Purchasing and the use of procurement cards are predicted to deliver a reduction of 2,560 staff.