A review of the current situation in public sector eProcurement carried out by the National eProcurement Programme (NePP) has identified that the vast bulk of public sector implementation has still to happen. A special supplement has been published by 'Local Government IT in Use' (LGITU) magazine to coincide with the transformational - Government conference in Central London 6th-7th December - at which @UK is speaking. Download LGITU article
(PDF download, 190kb)
In an interview with LGITU, Colin Whitehouse, NePP chair and senior advisor on the DCLG’s local government modernisation and efficiency team said, "I don't feel that eProcurement has contributed a fraction of what it is capable of at the moment". He added that " One local authority discovered that they did £1.6m worth of business a year with just one of their social care providers; receiving roughly 16,000 invoices in the process-some of them (valued at) around £100 each. This is not untypical; and the cost of processing these invoices is high. To put something as simple as eProcurement in place would take these huge processing costs out of the system"
Issues to be covered within the t-Government conference will include the potential savings to be achieved within many aspects of Local Government such as Social services, Local Authority construction projects and Education. Keynote speaker will be Sir David Varney, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor on Transformational Government.
Steve Holland, Director of the Regional Centres of Excellence National Procurement Programme told LGITU that "We in the Centres of Excellence recognise that in real terms the amount of traction there is in every local authority and the appropriate deployment of a range of eProcurement tools just hasn’t happened yet... NePP has produced a whole load of absolutely top class guidance... yet we still have a very low deployment of appropriate tools in many local authorities". According to Holland full deployment requires councils to make hard decisions. "The NAO (National Audit Office) figure that gets quoted is that you can save £28 per transaction. But this is not real money unless you get off the payroll the people who used to do those tasks and decommission the systems which they were using... That requires hard decisions... We need to have a managed and intelligent debate"
Andrew Rudd, Director of Procurement Enablement at the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency, also told the magazine that "A mixture of need and reward will drive take up across the public sector. You need either a senior sponsor within these organisations or financial pressure saying "I need to save money, what can you contribute?"
@UK's Lyn Duncan says "Reading all these and many other quotes it is clear that the problem of translating fine words into actions has been clearly identified at the top level. We all know that financial pressure upon the public sector to save money will continue, and if anything increase. It is unimaginable that given the relatively "easy win" that eProcurement represents, the current limbo will last much longer. @UK is ideally positioned to handle the rush when it occurs. We now have an efficient and proven system in place to process the implementation of eOrdering to, and eInvoicing from, the suppliers to the public sector. Major public bodies such as Leeds Teaching Hospitals and the London Borough of Lewisham are already showing the way. We have just announced a "100%" programme that means any public body can be up and running with eOrdering to all their suppliers in a very short space of time. What we need is the wholehearted commitment of public bodies to put in and support that programme. This NePP event is an excellent example of the kind of push that is being put in place by government to get things moving. By coincidence there is also a separate conference covering the same topic as regards the NHS in another central London hotel at the same time, at which we are also exhibiting. I think that level of activity alone makes it clear how much eProcurement is taking centre stage as a process which will achieve that "win win" government rightly wants to achieve-better service at lower price. We are confident the log jam will burst soon"
Download more information on the NePP "t-government" conference
To ask how @UK can help you cut out paperwork costs, errors and delays - whether you are a public body or a supplier to the public sector please contact us