09 September 2004 | David Arminas
The Association of University Procurement Officers (Aupo) is seeking a merger with the sector's main funded procurement advisory organisation.
Vincent John, Aupo chairman, told delegates at last week's annual conference at University College, Cork, that a merger would boost the association's professional status and help it finance more member services. A recent vote among Aupo members showed around 75 per cent in favour of a merger with the higher education sector's Procurement Strategy Implementation Group (Proc-HE).
Proc-HE is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFC) and is charged with devising and helping to implement a national procurement strategy up to 2006.
John told SM that a merger would give Aupo members more direct input into the national procurement strategy and the association could apply for grants to improve its services.
A consultation document will be sent to members seeking comments on how a merged operation could be set up, including where it might be based. The sector spends £2 billion annually on goods and services.