Headlines: June 26th, 2006

Telecom suppliers providing mobile service to public bodies have been force to cut their charges by 25 per cent. Line rentals have been reduced to 3 pounds per month and call charges to 3p per minute. The deal has been negotiated by OGCbuying.solutions, the trading arm of the Office of Government Commerce. Rigorous tendering and evaluation processes ensure that products and services are checked for quality, price competitiveness, fitness for purpose and compliance with statutory requirements. These products and services are available to all public bodies through OGCbuying.solutions.Mobile Voice and SMS will be provided by O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Data and value added services by O2, IBM UK, Orange, Specialist Computer Centres, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

OGC has been developing its significant buying power to deliver economies of scale and strategic partnership since the Gershon report on public sector efficiency was published almost two years. The report described a lack of customer power in public sector procurements and little user influence. It recommended that procurement be sharpened up by adopting a professional approach and ending multiple buying by many purchasers from a single supplier.