30 October 2009 | Allie Anderson
Two expert procurement teams are to set up collaborative purchasing arrangements across the New Zealand government to make "significant cost savings".
Economic development minister Gerry Brownlee announced the changes earlier this week as part of its wider procurement reform agenda.
Two specialist groups, to be called Centres of Expertise (CoE), will be established at the Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development "because they have senior-level support and relevant procurement expertise", said Brownlee.
They will be responsible for procuring and overseeing "all-of-government" contracts for IT equipment, desktops, laptops, printers, copiers and scanners, passenger vehicles and stationery. These spend areas were targeted because state agencies tend to buy the same items from the same suppliers, making it simple to combine spend.
The move will also eliminate the need for suppliers to respond to multiple tenders.
All public and state services agencies will be required to make use of these deals including government departments, NZ police, NZ Defence Force, District Health Boards and Crown Research Institutes. The first contracts are expected to be in place by June 2010.
"By consolidating expenditure and leading contract negotiations on behalf of the state sector these CoEs are expected to achieve significant cost savings," added Brownlee.
But the Ministry of Economic Development said it was unable to accurately estimate potential savings.
NZ's four-year government procurement reform agenda was launched in June. It aims to achieve cost savings, expand procurement capability and capacity, enhance NZ business participation and improve governance, oversight and accountability.