13 December 2001 | Robin Parker
An e-procurement system for the Scottish public sector is to be rolled out after delays in the final stages of the bidding process.
It is expected to achieve consistent buying practices at more than 70 public-sector bodies across Scotland, which share the Scottish Executive's £5 billion annual procurement budget.
The system marks the first attempt by a government to co-ordinate e-procurement on a national basis. According to the executive, other European governments are interested in adopting a similar model.
At least 11 buying organisations have confirmed that they plan to use the system after the initial adopters - the Scottish Executive, NHS Scotland Highland Trust, West Lothian Council and Highland Council - implement it in the new year.
Scottish Healthcare Supplies has reported interest from more than 600 suppliers to Scotland's 28 NHS Trusts.
The system, which had been in development since May last year, was due to be launched in September. However, this was put back as further details from the final two bidders were sought.
A consortium including IT consultancy Cap Gemini Ernst and Young and e-procurement software group Elcom was awarded the seven-year contract in November.