12 April 2001 | David Arminas
The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has raised the stakes for e-procurement in central government with two major projects: an e-tendering pilot and a new executive agency for online purchasing.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will run the six-month OGC TenderTrust e-tendering pilot with technology from TrustMarque International. Nine departments are taking part, including the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency and the Inland Revenue, said David White, the project's manager.
"We need to see it will do what it is supposed to do, whether RBS and TrustMarque can deliver and that the government is ready for e-tendering," added White.
Peter Gershon, the OGC's chief executive, made the announcements at last week's Public Sector Expo 2001 in London. He said he expected TenderTrust to save departments £13 million and suppliers £37 million in transaction costs.
The executive agency OGCbuying.solutions, will run a website for pre-tendered products and services including IT, telecommunications, catering and facilities management. It incorporates services previously provided by the managed services division of the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency and The Buying Agency, neither of which will continue to exist.
"One of the more difficult aspects was to pull everybody together from these fairly dispersed organisations," David Court, OGCbuying.solutions chief executive told SM.
Also announced was an agreement with Expotel for deals on hotel accommodation and conferencing, one of the "quick win" savings promised by Gershon when he started work last year. The savings from the three-year contract are estimated to reach £18 million.