The national policer procurement hub has gone live with the ambition of not just helping save millions for the cut-facing boys in blue but also the idea that it will mean more business for resellers.
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The procurement hub goes live with the Lincolnshire Police today, which is the first force to use the National Police Procurement Hub (NPPH), which gives them the choice to buy IT and services from 500 suppliers including IT along with body armour and vehicles.
Lincolnshire is first but the hub, which is delivered by eprocurement specialist ProcServe, is being made available to all 43 forces with the expectation they are using it by June next year.
The claims the procurement system makes includes helping produce savings of £30m as well as making it easier for smaller providers to work more effectively with police forces.
Sue Moffatt, head of commercial and procurement at the NPIA, said that the police were committed to making significant savings through the way they spent money on IT and services and the systems they used had to be user friendly: "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, and now Lincolnshire does."
Along with dealing with the aftermath of the riots this week politicians have also had to face calls for a reduction in the level of police cuts as the public express fears over reductions in front line Bobby's on the beat. Centralised services and better procurement have been cited as possible ways money could be trimmed without taking officers off the streets.
Peter Steed, assistant chief officer and director of resources at Lincolnshire Police, said that in challenging financial times "it is essential that we take every opportunity to maintain services whilst reducing costs."