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13 March 2013 | Adam Leach
A new national procurement service for Wales could save the taxpayer up to £25 million a year by leveraging spend on “common and repetitive goods and services”, according to the Welsh Government.
The National Procurement Service for Wales (NPS), which is set to launch in November, will be responsible for purchasing and managing contracts for goods such as stationery, office furniture and professional services. It will also be tasked with using its buying power to provide economic benefits and develop local supply chains.
Carl Sargeant, Welsh local government minister, said in a statement: “Establishing the NPS is a significant step forward in transforming public services in Wales. The public sector spends more than £4 billion each year on goods and services and we must make sure that we get maximum value for this money.”
The Welsh Government calculates that by centrally purchasing the goods and services, which will also include IT software and fleet, it can make annual savings of up to £25 million. It said this will free up resources for its member organisations to focus on more specialist areas of spend.
While it will sit within the Welsh Government, the NPS will service a range of organisations within the wider public sector of Wales, but using it will not be mandatory. So far, more than 70 organisations, including police forces, local health boards and universities, have signed up.
Finance minister Jane Hutt said: “All of these organisations can now look forward to getting the best value for money when buying common goods and services."