Local government buyers to access better travel rates

15 December 2011

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15 December 2011 | Angeline Albert

Public sector buyers from Northumberland to the South East will have access to a UK government business travel deal from 1 January.

It follows an agreement struck between buying consortium Pro5 and the Government Procurement Service (GPS) for its local authority members to use a national framework agreement.

Pro5 is made up of the Central Buying Consortium (CBC), Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO), YPO, North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) and West Mercia Supplies (WMS). Members of these consortia will shortly be able to get access better value rates through the GPS’s ‘travel management services framework’ which offers booking services for air, rail, hotels, serviced apartments and conferences.

It is the first national arrangement for business travel that has been made available to the wider public sector and is expected to reduce duplication of work and lead to savings and more compliant procurement arrangements. Pro5 believes the framework could save public bodies without a travel management company up to 20 per cent on the category. Its members, which are mostly local authorities and have a combined spend of more than £2 billion a year, will be able to use their joint spending power to make efficiencies. Under the framework, public sector organisations could combine requirements on a local or regional level and select a common supplier to save money.

GPS established the framework in 2010 and has been in talks with Pro5 since August about the agreement. It is already used by central government departments but currently has limited use within the wider public sector.

Duncan Spokes, Pro5 category lead, said: “By establishing this partnership, Pro5 has saved the additional costs from an OJEU process. This national framework delivers best value pricing, with technology and services that meet high-quality standards.”

Pro5 and GPS are in talks to develop opportunities in other categories, including IT, fleet and professional services.

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