8 July 2011 | Rebecca Ellinor
The first UK pan-government spend
analysis tool is expected to be in place by the end of the financial year.
Government Procurement will shortly put
out a tender for a system that will connect all existing departmental data
gathering tools to provide up-to-date spend information.
Speaking to SM, government CPO John Collington said: “All procurement
professionals know the value of having access to readily available, meaningful
data on spend and suppliers.
“We’ve never had a joined-up technology
strategy for government and one thing it’s been criticised for in the past is
an inability to produce readily available data on spend and suppliers. There
are a number of exceptions to that: some have made the investment in Oracle,
SAP or spend-analysis tools, but the problem has been pulling that data
together on a collective basis.”
In the past, the process that was applied
resulted in data that was at best six months old and at worst 18 months out of
date. The new system will download data from departmental ERP and account
payable systems, and cover everything from common goods to one-off purchases.
As reported by SM, a report published earlier this week by the
Public Accounts Committee said Whitehall’s IT strategy lacks “metrics to
measure progress” and needs to set out more clearly how it will encourage more
involvement from SMEs. It highlighted nine areas where the Efficiency and
Reform Group must make progress before the strategy is finalised. These
included implementing indicators of success to enable measuring value for
money, and publishing reviews of projects as soon as they are launched. The
final version of the IT strategy will be published in August.
☛ Read the full interview with John
Collington online here and in the July issue of Supply
Management, page 30