Headlines: June 29th, 2007



The largest ever reverse e-auction means public sector organisations will cut their office supply bills by almost two-thirds. The prices they will pay for stationery, printer cartridges, paper and magnetic media will be cut by up to 62 per cent under a groundbreaking deal led by the Ministry of Defence.

The new lower prices are a result of the reverse e-auction , which has brought about the greatest savings for UK taxpayers ever achieved using an auction process. The event took place over four consecutive days and was the last step in a nine-month long procurement process driven by the MoD, with assistance from the Office of Government Commerce.

One factor seen as critical to the success of the process and to the savings it has achieved was the approach taken by the MoD, which combined all its office supplies requirements with those of seven other public sector organisations to maximise leverage in the market. The pre-auction value of the combined requirements was 232 million pounds but the aggregate price after the auction fell to 132 million. Further savings are also expected as other public sector organisations will be able to join the deal and benefit from the lower prices. The bodies who have collaborated in the process so far are Revenue and Customs, the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Metropolitan Police, the Foreign Office, the Treasury and the Office of Government Commerce in addition to the MOD.

The new deal will come into effect on October 1st and will see Lyreco UK supplying stationery; Office Depot UK providing cut paper; and Westcoast Ltd supplying magnetic media and electronic office consumables.

David Rothrie, head of the Office Solutions team at the OGC said, “It’s truly an outstanding result that clearly demonstrates to the wider government community how collaboration on this scale can help deliver the progress and savings called for in Transforming Government Procurement.”