☛ Want the latest procurement and supply chain news delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for the Supply Management Daily
23 June 2013 | Marino Donati
The government wants suppliers, including SMEs, to use electronic invoicing for public sector contracts.
It said it would not mandate suppliers yet but will examine ways to spread best practice and review whether any action is needed at a later date.
The aims have been outlined in the government’s Information Economy Strategy report, published this month.
It calls for central government to use electronic invoicing for all transactions, and that local authorities and NHS trusts already taking this approach have achieved significant efficiency savings.
The report said: “For UK businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to realise the full benefits of e-invoicing, it is important that the systems are easy to install and use, and pricing is flexible enough to suit the needs of diverse businesses.
“E-invoicing providers have committed to looking at ways to improve interoperability and accessibility of e-invoicing for SMEs, including through the Business Application Software Developers Association interoperability charter.”
The report also highlights how the government’s G-Cloud programme, which aims to simplify the procurement process and make it more transparent, has benefitted smaller operators with SMEs making up 60 per cent of G-Cloud sales so far.
Contracts Finder20, a free online tool to help businesses find government tenders of more than £10,000, has also been introduced.