10 August 2007 | Antony Barton
An IT procurement deal for the Welsh public sector will lead to savings of more than £6 million a year, according to the Welsh Assembly Government.
The framework agreement features 17 suppliers, including Computacenter, Equanet and Dell. They each bid in an e-auction over two days to supply hardware and software to organisations such as local authorities and primary schools.
Andrew Davies, minister for finance and public service delivery, said the deal would see average savings of 39 per cent or more than £6 million a year - the equivalent of an extra 180 teachers or nurses.
He added: "This framework is exactly the kind of result our 'Making the Connections' policy aims to achieve. It will provide real value for money for the people of Wales and improve the delivery of services."
The Welsh Further Education Purchasing Consortium (WFEPC) led the project, in conjunction with Value Wales, a division of the Welsh Assembly set up to promote best-practice procurement among public-sector bodies.
All equipment is "energy star" compliant, which means it uses 70 per cent less electricity than other computers. The Welsh government says product quality and service were considered alongside issues such as the use of recycled materials and ethical supply chains, and the award includes an SME manufacturing in Wales.