12 April 2007
Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City Council have officially approved their central procurement unit (CPU), but will use separate e-procurement systems.
Alan Wood, project leader and corporate finance manager for Aberdeenshire Council, told SM
the CPU will control a spend of around £400 million a year. It is hoped the unit will save around £25 million over a five-year period.
The CPU should have a team of 16 in place within the next year, with six posts already filled. A head of procurement should also be recruited within the next six months, at which point a joint procurement strategy for both councils will be finalised. They have been developing a strategy and implementation plan for the CPU since 2005.
Eventually the only way to set up contracts will be through the CPU, although specialists in divisions such as property and social work will still control some elements of procurement.
The two e-procurement systems are set to launch this month. Aberdeen City Council has installed eProcurement Scotland (ePS), which was procured by the Scottish Executive for the whole of the public sector in Scotland.
Yet Aberdeenshire Council has rejected the executive's recommendations and chosen Oracle's iProcurement system.
Wood said: "Both councils feel that although e-procurement is very important, it isn't the element that is going to save the money.
"Putting the contracts in place, managing them and negotiating them is where the savings are going to be made."