London councils stay away from e-marketplace

17 July 2002
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18 July 2002

An e-marketplace intended to enable all London local authorities to deal with suppliers online has failed to take off.

Only six of the capital's 32 boroughs have joined the marketplace, set up by software vendor and consultancy Best Value Procurement (BVP). The project, backed by four councils, aimed to sign up the rest by last Christmas.

But nine months on, only Redbridge and the Greater London Authority have joined the initial four, and BVP is in talks with just five others. It has also set up a regional marketplace for Lancashire and Yorkshire, which could be working later this year.

Meanwhile, the Improvement and Development Agency's rival national marketplace has attracted firm interest from 26 authorities within two months.

Malcolm Rosier, co-founder of BVP, described the exchange's take-up as "disappointing".

"Most authorities seem to be either pursuing their own path or not thinking about 'e' at all," he said, "even though the pressure is on for the government's 2005 deadline to e-enable all services."

SMjul2002

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