24 May 2001 | Robin Parker
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is to implement a global e-procurement system in an attempt to reduce the £70 million annual purchasing spend by its 220 embassies.
Employees will be able to order online via the FCO's central procurement offices from internal catalogues of 100 suppliers. Orders will be directed to the nearest of the supply bases that operate worldwide.
"There's a degree of devolved budgeting for case-by-case expenditures," said an FCO spokesman. "While the larger spends will be co-ordinated through the central procurement offices, each individual manager will be able to process smaller orders themselves."
The multi-lingual system is the first of its kind to be implemented by a central government office, according to Angus Gregory, chief executive of Biomni, the system's software provider.