21 February 2008 | Jake Kanter
Local authorities in the south east have collectively saved more than £1 million by buying goods and services online.
Using the South East Business Portal (SEBP), organisations in the area, whose annual spend is estimated at £4.5 billion, advertised contracts online so suppliers could access them more easily. So far 64 of the 79 local and fire and rescue authorities use the scheme.
The authorities have taken advantage of reduced advertising costs and standard documents on the system, making it easier to draw up contracts. The portal has also made the procurement process more transparent, and saved participants time and money.
Amy Richards, senior procurement officer at Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, said: "When we were about to start the tender process for our general banking services, attachments uploaded by Spelthorne Borough Council provided some really useful information."
The SEBP is funded by the South East Centre of Excellence.