03 February 2005 | Cara Whitehouse
Peter Watson has been appointed head of procurement at Wokingham District Council. He joins as his department leads the development of an e-marketplace for the Thames Valley region.
Other councils in the area will join the online exchange, where supplier catalogues can be accessed on a shared system. It is set to be operational by the middle of the year.
It will offer non-specialised products and services, from stationery and foodstuffs to property and architectural services.
Watson said the marketplace is an important part of the council's overall business strategy.
"It will allow councils to consolidate their spend and benefit from collective buying power, as well as provide efficiency."
He will also manage the introduction of procurement cards and the implementation of Oracle 11i e-business software. In addition to streamlining back-office processes, he expects supplier numbers to fall dramatically from the current 2,000.
Watson was formerly partnership and contract manager at West Berkshire Council, where he was responsible for a £10 million annual budget.
He also has more than 20 years' purchasing experience with oil and technology companies.