Friday, 11 September 2009

Helping Gwynedd to save at the click of a button

With all public sector organisations expected to face difficult budget decisions over the coming years, Gwynedd Council is embarking on a major long-term programme which will help to ensure it gets the best value for taxpayers money.

As part of the innovative xchangewales programme, Gwynedd Council will increase its use of electronic procurement which will make trading easier for both the Council and suppliers.

The online resource allows all public sector organisations in Wales to source, tender, evaluate, order and pay for goods and services at the click of a button.

Gwynedd Council Leader, Councillor Dyfed Edwards said: “As a Council, Gwynedd is committed to finding new and more efficient ways of working. We are confident that using the electronic and web based tools available as part of the xchangewales programme will help to improve efficiency, reduce costs and make sure that we get better value for money.

“After all, shopping online is something that has become common practice for many of us. It makes sense that public sector organisations will make more and more use of these kinds of online facilities over the coming years.”

With the Council looking to identify new and more efficient ways of working, it is expected that this new e-procurement programme will help to save around £500,000 for the Council by 2012/13.

Public sector bodies across Wales are working collaboratively to establish xchangewales as the prime electronic procurement system for Wales. The system is free for suppliers and covers the entire procurement life-cycle; from tendering for jobs to transmitting orders and invoices electronically in a secure online environment.

Geraint George, Head of Strategy and Improvement at Gwynedd Council added: “Our e-procurement programme is one of Gwynedd Council’s corporate initiatives to modernise and improve the services we deliver to Gwynedd residents. As one of the first Welsh councils to implement xchangewales; Gwynedd Council will be using innovative technology so that we can improve efficiency and achieve better value for money.

“The Council’s suppliers will also benefit as xchangewales provides a standard electronic platform that facilitates the entire procurement process not only with
Gwynedd Council but with other public bodies throughout Wales, providing businesses with the opportunity to reduce their operational costs also. We will be talking with suppliers to provide support during this transition.”

Gwynedd was one of just three Welsh Council who took part in the eTrading for Schools trial project which proved successful and helped to improve efficiency. It allows schools to have greater say on how they spend their money by providing more choice which can help them get better value for their money.

Council Leader, Councillor Dyfed Edwards added: “Trials which have already been undertaken by some of the county’s secondary schools showed that using this programme meant that they could speed up the process of buying the goods they need. The new online system also makes it easier for suppliers to reduce the cost of doing business with the public sector in Wales.”

Owen Owens, Senior Manager at Gwynedd Council’s Education Department noted: “The eTrading for Schools project is gaining momentum and bodes well for the future as we aim to release valuable resources to schools. It provides a real opportunity to improve efficiency but also to work collaboratively to make school budgets go further.”

The system is operational in all Gwynedd secondary schools and is already delivering benefits in the form of more streamlined processes and savings on their purchases. The Council will now be rolling out the programme to the remaining primary schools.

Photograp: Gwynedd Council Leader, Councillor Dyfed Edwards


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