UK government to tender for spend information tool

8 July 2011

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In the past, the process that was applied resulted in data that was at best six months old and at worst 18 months out of date.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

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