19 July 2001 | Robin Parker
The London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) is extending contract periods and will cut its supply base in a bid to increase its purchasing power.
Contracts will be fixed at five years rather than three and, where possible, the authority will use a single supplier to strengthen buying relationships, Terry Brewer, head of procurement at the LFEPA, told SM.
The move is partly a response to the Greater London Authority (GLA) green procurement strategy, which is making public-sector procurement in the capital more accountable, he added.
"We're being proactive and building requirements into contracts for value-for-money environmentally friendly products," he said. "Where they cannot provide green products, suppliers must suggest alternatives."
The LFEPA is also moving to collaborative purchasing. It has joined forces with Surrey County Council to invite tenders for their £250,000 combined annual spend on cleaning products.
"The scheme is a precursor to cross-brigade purchasing," said Brewer. "We found that Surrey fire brigade tends to use its council's procurement service. There might be scope for us to work with other GLA bodies."
The moves follow the implementation of an e-procurement system last November, which devolved purchasing to the brigade's 112 fire stations.