30 March 2006 | Anusha Bradley
HM Prison Service is set to beat its government-set efficiency target by more than 75 per cent, saving £53 million by 2008, using a new e-procurement system.
Vincent Godfrey, the service's head of procurement, said "rogue spending" for goods and services has been curbed since Oracle's iProcurement system was installed in January.
He said it has given the procurement team complete visibility of online purchases, which has enabled it to improve its service and negotiate better deals.
"With iProcurement we have reduced the cost of a carton of milk by a penny, leading to annual savings of £53,000, which is the salary of two prison officers," Godfrey told SM
The Prison Service, which spends £450 million a year on goods and services, must save around £30 million by 2008 to meet its Gershon efficiency savings target. But it now believes savings of £53 million are achievable - a 76.6 per cent increase on its original target.
Prison staff use the system to buy 30 per cent of all goods and services negotiated by the procurement department.
Forty jails are currently using iProcurement, and there are plans to implement the system in all 128 prisons and area offices by the end of the year.
Godfrey said staff are forced to use the system because these purchases must be made online, even for non-contract items.
The new system would enable purchasing staff to dedicate more time to strategic spend areas.