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24 June 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Surrey County Council has saved more than £2 million in the first six weeks of its financial year, which began in April, by negotiating better deals on contracts for buses, IT and social care services.
IT was key for savings as the procurement team purchased a hardware server directly from a specialist supplier which saved £130,000. A new IT system for the home-based care which allows staff to allocate resources for people in residential homes saved £133,000. The system reduced staff numbers and was a cheaper system than was budgeted for. Using end-user licence agreements for software licensing rather than buying ad-hoc agreements saved £509,000. The council were also able to save a further £247,000 on the budgeted spend for servers and storage in their new data centre.
The procurement team also negotiated savings of £422,000 on 19 bus contracts. Additionally the council implemented a gadget that routes calls on a specific cheaper route which allowed savings of £55,000 to be made on outgoing mobile phone calls.
And changing a contract for care home beds meant the council now only pay for occupied beds saving £571,000. The previous block contract for beds meant the council paid for all beds regardless of occupancy.
“I am committed to leaving no stone unturned to ensure value for money. It means continuing to strive to do more for less as well as working as one team with other public services to save money wherever possible,” said council leader David Hodge in a statement.
The procurement team has saved nearly £56 million over the past two years and hopes to save up to £25 million this year.