The procurement strategy, known as ‘IdeaMarketplace’, is expected to go live as early as this summer, and will provide all 409 English and Welsh councils with a online shopping mall where they can purchase all the products and services they require, at the click of mouse.
The one-stop online mall could save councils as much as Pounds 4bn annually on the 35 million buying transactions totalling Pounds 25bn. In addition savings will be made on the Pounds 2.5bn spent on transaction costs, including Pounds 20,000 council officers spend every minute on paper work.
IdeaMarketplace is the creation of the Improvement and Development Agency, the organisation tasked with improving local authority performance in all service areas and is designed with a number of cost-saving features.
The ‘best buy’ feature will allow councils to take account of local policy priorities and cost before making their purchases, while the ‘centre of excellence’ feature will allow market leaders in certain areas of procurement to buy all goods and services for councils across England and Wales.
Gary Richardson, director of business development at the IDA said the centres of excellence would cement Britain’s position ‘in the vanguard of public sector procurement’.
He predicted IdeaMarketplace would be more advanced than anything used by local government in the USA, currently recognised as the most influential country for developing local authority e-procurement strategies.
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