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Panels of procurement experts are to be set up to advise on ways to save millions in efficiency savings....
Panels of procurement experts are to be set up to advise on ways to save millions in efficiency savings.

The Regional Centres of Excellence have identified areas where procurement action groups, comprising procurement and efficiency officers from central and local government, can be created to prepare How to guides.

Groups have already been formed to look at postal services and the energy market, with ICT hardware, telecommunications and temporary staff also set to be considered.

The energy group recently had its first meeting with a view to producing a guide by the end of the year. The ability of energy suppliers to 'play' one council off against another to secure higher prices was raised as one example of where the creation of specialist buying organisations could be beneficial.

Reducing the voltage in certain council buildings was also suggested.

Michael Worron, assistant director of improvement and collaboration at the East of England Centre of Excellence, said councils had no excuse for not using the guides to move on to new, better value contracts.

'Getting out of existing contracts isn't as tricky as some people make out,' he said.

'As long as you have a good dialogue with your existing supplier then change makes good business sense for every-one. It is only difficult if you are risk-averse and have limited vision.'

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