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Press Releases

eAuction halves IT costs for councils and NHS trusts

Fourteen councils and six NHS Trusts have joined together to save nearly £7 million in the latest IT hardware eAuction run by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) with the London Centre of Excellence (LCE).

The councils and trusts auctioned IT hardware requirements worth £13.7 million at pre-auction benchmarked prices, achieving a price at the end of the five hour auction of £6.9 million: an average saving of 50 per cent across the six lots.  This brings the number of central government and wider public sector organisations that have so far participated in OGC eAuctions to 325, saving a total of £21 million since the first eAuction in September 2005.   

Rob Leak, Chief Executive of the London Borough of Enfield, one of the participating councils, said:  "We are delighted with the results achieved through this eAuction as it gives us a tangible cashable saving and proves that collaborative working delivers results. I am eager that the collaborative approach extends to other high value commodities and services highlighted by the LCE as I am sure that there are even more savings to be exploited across London by working together and influencing markets."

Chris Chettle, OGC eAuction manager, said:    "The eAuction has delivered an extremely competitive deal, demonstrating the huge benefits that can be obtained by working collaboratively to engage with suppliers.  These councils and NHS trusts have together achieved far greater price reductions than anything they would have obtained by each negotiating with the suppliers on an individual basis."

The eAuction was championed by the London Centre of Excellence, which provided senior sponsorship and project management resources. The OGC assisted with technical and project management support, drawing on the lessons and successes of its previous six IT eAuctions.

Ken Cole, Director of the London Centre of Excellence, said:    "These excellent results show how the Regional Centres of Excellence are bringing local authorities and other public bodies together to combine their buying power. At a time when councils are facing greater financial pressures, eAuctions can deliver substantial savings which can help protect frontline services."

Any public sector organisation interested in making cash savings by participating in an OGC IT eAuction should contact Chris Chettle at the OGC, and for local authorities, the Director of their nearest Regional Centre of Excellence.

Notes to Editors

1) eAuction participation
The fourteen councils participating in the eAuction were:
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham
London Borough of Brent
London Borough of Bromley
London Borough of Camden
City of London
London Borough of Enfield
London Borough of Harrow
London Borough of Islington
London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Merton      
Hull City Council
North Lincolnshire Borough Council
North East Lincolnshire Borough Council
Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council
The NHS trusts participating in the eAuction were:
Poole Hospitals NHS Trust
The Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Taunton & Somerset NHS Trust
West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust
Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Somerset Primary Care Trust

2) The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) is an office of HM Treasury, responsible for improving value for money by driving up standards and capability in procurement, from commodities buying to the delivery of major capital projects, maximising the effective use of 60 per cent of Government spending and a £30 billion property estate.

A new Government strategy launched in January 2007, Transforming Government Procurement, highlighted the central importance of procurement in delivering high-quality public services and best value for money.  OGC is tasked with delivering this transformation, and with driving up standards and procurement capability across central Government.  The OGC will do this through:

  • Setting the right procurement standards and ensuring they are met;
  • Capitalising on the Government’s collective buying power to achieve value for money;

And playing a stronger role in the successful delivery of major projects.

3) Regional Centres of Excellence, such as the London Centre, are the change agents for local government efficiency. Uniquely placed to bring councils together, they are run by local government, bring additional capacity and are results focused. They are supporting councils to secure millions of pounds in efficiencies that are being re-invested in better front-line services.


Office of Government Commerce:
Press office: 020 7271 1366/1318,
Non-press queries: Chris Chettle, or call OGC’s Service Desk on 0845 000 4999 ask to speak to the eProcurement Team.

London Centre of Excellence:
Ken Cole : please contact via LCE , 020 7934 9967.
Seth Brook: 07976 109 192