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27 January 2012 | Adam Leach
Church of England
intends to cut parish spending on IT, stationery and energy by £10 million
through a national online buying portal.
- officially launched on 30 January - offers 13,000 parishes across England and
Wales access to framework agreements with suppliers in energy, IT software,
office products, photocopying and fire safety.
With a combined annual spend of around £200
million, the Church hopes the agreements negotiated by the two national heads
of procurement – who are paid employees of the Church – and agreed with
suppliers, will generate annual savings of around £10 million.
As well as savings, the site is intended to
ease the administrative burden on individual parishes, where volunteers often
carry out procurement.
Stephen Marriott, Guildford diocesan secretary
and chair of the Church of England National Procurement Group, said: "This
new service is designed to save time and money… I'm confident that it will be
of potential benefit to every parish, particularly when many are finding the
current financial climate challenging."
While the framework agreements available
through the site were negotiated by the national heads of procurement, any
purchasing agreements to buy products or services will be between the
individual parish and the supplier. However, if circumstances require it, the
national heads will be on hand to step in to assist.
In addition to the categories of goods and
services available through the site, training and resources on purchasing will
be available to buy, such as ‘cost control training’ and ‘20 ways to save your
parish money’, and there will also be a selection of free buying guides
available to support parishes when purchasing on their own.