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GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT WEBSITE LAUNCHED

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The high priority the executive attaches to modernising government was underlined today with the launch of a new we...
The high priority the executive attaches to modernising government was underlined today with the launch of a new website dedicated to the eProcurement Scotl@nd service.

eProcurement Scotl@ndencourages a joined-up approach to purchasing by government in Scotland. It brings local government, the NHS and central government together to deliver savings and efficiencies in procurement including eliminating much of the traditional paper-chase.

Procurement expenditure in the Scottish public sector is estimated at£5bn per annum; industry benchmarks suggest that savings of between one and five per cent can be achieved by eProcurement.

The service is already being used by many public sector organisations and will be rolled out further in the months ahead.

Minister for finance and public services Andy Kerr said:

'One of my key priorities is to provide Scotland with the public services required to meet the challenges of the 21st century. I have a personal commitment to achieving public sector excellence, focused on achieving the best value for government, for business and the Scottish people who rely upon us for services.

'I believe that the importance of the eProcurement Scotl@nd programme is that in adopting a common platform and taking a common approach, it is bringing local government, the NHS and central government in Scotland together. In so doing it is opening up opportunities to bring savings and efficiencies for both buyers and suppliers.

'eProcurement Scotl@nd brings real joined-up government and that is why it has my support'.

Health minister Malcolm Chisholm said:

'Taxpayers and patients in Scotland want to see real improvements in

services. To achieve this we need to look closely not only at the visible

areas of the health service but also at 'behind the scenes' management and administration.

'One of the key areas we are looking at is the NHS Scotland supply chain which al l in the health service believe could operate in a more effective and integrated way. This will bring both its own benefits and also help achieve improvements in front line patient care.

'The eProcurement Scotl@nd service is the foundation on which we are building our Best Procurement Practice implementation programme and it is particularly welcome that this initiative allows the NHS to develop and implement best practice in collaboration with local and central government colleagues.

'This site is an excellent first port of call to find out what is happening in the programme and what it is achieving'

The chief executive of West Lothian Council, Alex Linkston, said:

'eProcurement Scotl@nd is transforming the way in which West Lothian Council orders its goods, services and works requirements. One of the main benefits of implementing the service is the increased management information that allows us to make more informed decisions on our future procurement strategy. Our suppliers are also benefiting from the introduction of eProcurement as is demonstrated by the unsolicited discounts that the council has been offered'.

Tom Scholes, chief executive of Renfrewshire Council added:

'As a chief executive I am delighted that the executive has recognised the contribution which local authorities can make in taking this programme forward. By working collectively for the benefit of all rather than individually we believe that we can deliver benefits to business, to the taxpayers and to our organisations. We in Renfrewshire are looking forward to playing our part in this national initiative'.

Contract to deliver the eProcurement Scotl@nd service was awarded to Cap Gemini Ernst and Young in November 2001. The first transaction placed through the system was by the first minister, Jack McConnell, from Portree Primary School 25 March 2002.

The service is currently live in The Highland Council, West Lothian Council, East Lothian Council, NHS Highland, NHS Tayside, The Scottis h Ambulance Service, Scottish Water and the Scottish Executive (including several NDPBs and Executive Agencies). It will shortly be live in Renfrewshire Council and the Common Services Agency of the NHS and further implementation throughout the NHS in Scotland will commence early in 2004.

The 300 plus suppliers connected to the service range from multinationals to small Scottish businesses.

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