New procurement hub will save millions

A new online procurement process being rolled out to forces across the country by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) is set to save the police service up to £30 million by streamlining the procurement process.

May 26, 2011
By Paul Jacques

A new online procurement process being rolled out to forces across the country by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) is set to save the police service up to £30 million by streamlining the procurement process.

The National Police Procurement Hub is an ‘Amazon-style’ electronic marketplace that provides the police service with the ability to buy goods and services from approved contracts. It links purchase to payment, without having to use paper orders and invoices.

Although some forces use an electronic process for part of the procurement process, there is no other system that allows forces to do the whole process of ordering, buying, invoicing and paying online.

This new initiative has been endorsed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). It is being rolled out across all forces and is due to be completed by June 2012.

In addition to the cash saving, other benefits include:

•Making the procurement process more efficient by enabling forces to buy together and reduce costs;

•A centrally-managed process saving forces time on managing their own procurement process;

•Providing forces with easy access to best-value contracts;

•Enabling SMEs (small medium enterprises) and other suppliers to work more efficiently with the police service.

Sue Moffatt, head of commercial and procurement at the NPIA, said: “The police service is committed to deliver significant savings from better procurement. It is absolutely vital that those charged with buying goods and services have access to the tools that make them available quickly, and directly to their desktop.

“The hub complements existing procurement processes across the police service so forces do not need to invest in replacing current systems. It enhances existing processes and provides a simple online shopping system to access best value products and services.

David Horne, the project’s senior responsible officer, and chair of ACPO’s Procurement Portfolio added: “This is a big step forward in enabling police procurement to deliver yet more savings, as well as better support the service’s operational requirements. It will also ensure greater convergence with our suppliers.”

The electronic marketplace will be hosted by ProcServe. CEO Jim Knox said: “This is an exciting new release that will create a truly collaborative e-marketplace for all police forces and their suppliers across England and Wales and transform the way they procure goods and services. This is about giving the police forces an affordable way to practice smarter spending and to support the savings initiatives been driven by NPIA and ACPO.”

Phased implementation of the procurement hub will result in savings totalling up to £30 million over a six-year period.

Initial set-up of the Police Procurement Hub will be funded by the NPIA.

Forces will start paying a subscription to use the hub at the start of the financial year 2012/2013.

The NPIA will work with forces across England and Wales to negotiate and agree implementation dates, but it is expected to be rolled out to all forces across England and Wales by June 2012.

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