04 September 2003 | David Arminas
The Defence Logistics Organisation has used an e-auction to save nearly £750,000 on facial tissues for Britain's soldiers.
The Ministry of Defence buys around three million packets of the tissues each year to go in soldiers' ration packs and savings are estimated at 65 per cent of present costs.
The auction, using provider Group Supplies, is the first one run by OGCbuying.solutions, the trading arm of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), the government's procurement advisory body.
The move is part of a wider strategy for using more e-auctions in government.
OGCbuying.solutions is working with the OGC to put together a framework contract for e-auction suppliers, which is likely to be available by early 2004.
An OGC spokesperson said the idea is to save government purchasers with little experienced of organising an e-auction time and effort.
"The framework agreement will have auction providers already vetted and approved."
The NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency (Pasa) has said it will be sharing its experience of e-auctions with the OGC.
Pasa signed a major contract with auction provider Emptoris late last month.