07 September 2006 | Helen Gilbert
Procurement cards have been given to councils in the north-west of England in a bid to deliver savings and boost efficiency.
Under the North West Centre of Excellence (NWCE) Barclays Procurement Scheme more than a third of the 46 local authorities in the region will use the cards to pay for low-value purchases and staff expenses. All the spend will be recorded on one bill.
According to the NWCE, each purchasing transaction typically costs £50. The procurement card scheme will "significantly reduce" this figure for local authorities to around £22 per transaction.
"There aren't expense forms to fill in and it takes out all the invoicing and authorisation processes," Paul Hind, e-procurement programme manager told supplymanagement.com
Manchester City Council is currently the largest user of the procurement card in local government in the UK, with a monthly average spend of £4.6 million on the card. Since Manchester introduced the scheme in 2000, cumulative process savings have exceeded £9.2 million.