The government has saved £196.7m in a year by introducing IT procurementprocesses that are more collaborative.
The Officeof Government Commerce (OGC) reported a total of £1.4bn savings in itsannual statement, with IT making up a significant portion.
The OGC has attempted to overhaul the way government departments and otherparts of the public sector buy equipment.
E-procurement tools have enabled public sector organisations to collaborateover prices and purchasing, pushing prices down and buying in bulk.
The public sector spends about £220bn on goods and services each year. Theannual statement said tools such as e-auctions have made a difference toprices.
Since 2005 ten collaborative IT hardware e-auctions, involving 144public sector stakeholders, have led to savings of £43.8m.
The OGC contracts database has also contributed to savings. The databaseholds a central register of 400 deals, giving easy access to good valuecontracts.
Further savings of £75m are expected over the next five years from asoftware licensing deal with Microsoft.The report says the deal will "enable customers to buy Microsoft licencestailored to their individual needs rather than standard packages for the firsttime". The OGC says this will reduce unnecessary costs.
Nigel Smith, chief executive of the OGC, said, "A great deal ofprogress has been made in the last year in improving commercial and procurementpractices across Whitehall and in the wider public sector."
"Getting maximumvalue from government spend has never been more important than now, and the OGCis helping the public sector deliver this. The momentum we have seen over thepast year must be maintained if we are to deliver the savings potentials thathave been identified through the Operational Efficiency Programme."
This story first appeared on www.computerweekly.co.uk