19 July 2001 | Liam O'Brien
Leeds City Council has teamed up with an Australian state government to launch an e-tendering system as part of the city's major e-procurement initiative.
A team from the government of Western Australia in Perth will spend eight days with Leeds council's three-man implementation team this month to set up the system. Leeds aims to have electronic tendering up and running by 1 September, as part of the UK government's Pathfinder initiative for local government.
Tony Wiltshire, head of procurement at Leeds City Council, said: "The government of Western Australia is about 18 months ahead of us in terms of general e-procurement, and has already done a lot of work in this area. It can give us a head start and help us to meet our ambition of having full e-procurement in place within three years."
Stage two will see electronic sourcing and supplier and contract management added within two years. Stage three will involve fully integrated e-procurement within three years on the city's £330 million purchasing spend.
By the time of the introduction of stages two and three, Leeds expects to be in a position to have its own computer system in place. Until that time, Leeds will be using the Western Australia server, according to David McDermont, principal adviser, strategic procurement, in the Australian state's department of industry and technology.
The main drivers for the Western Australia government in developing e-commerce have been reduced purchasing costs, better public access to government services, and better audit and probity.
The Government of Western Australia is in the forefront of developing e-procurement in Australia and is working on a similar project to the Leeds council initiative with the government of New South Wales, added McDermont.