06 August 2008 | Helen Gilbert
The Welsh Assembly hopes to save £200 million over the next five years with the introduction of a new e-procurement system.
The system is set to form part of the Welsh procurement website XChangeWales. It will enable buyers from central and local government, the NHS, emergency services and higher education to carry out procurement exercises online directly with suppliers.
Benefits of the new approach include a reduction in the number and complexity of systems dealt with by suppliers and a reduction in transaction costs through electronic exchanges of orders and invoices.
In addition, the process will help to remove barriers to public sector procurement that SMEs face by helping to standardise processes and reducing their costs through a single system approach.
Andrew Davies, minister for finance and public service delivery, said: "Without having to leave their computers, public sector bodies will be able to evaluate tenders, make orders and pay invoices.
"Crucially, this system has the potential to deliver an incredible £200 million of savings over five years. This money can be reinvested back into better citizen-focused services."
This system will be provided by e-procurement firm BravoSolution.