A deal has been struck by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) with ProcServe to roll out the National Police Procurement Hub across police forces in England and Wales.
The “Amazon-style” electronic marketplace provides forces with the ability to buy goods and services from approved contracts. It links purchase to payment, without having to use paper orders and invoices, helping to streamline the procurement process.
Although some forces use an electronic process for part of their existing procurement, there is no other system that allows forces to do the whole process of ordering, buying, invoicing and paying online, said NPIA.
The roll out across all forces is due to be completed by June 2012, with forces expected to pay to use the Hub from financial year 2012/13.
By using the Hub forces will effectively be buying together, meaning they can benefit from cheaper prices through approved contracts. The NPIA also says small suppliers will find it easier to deal with police forces via the Hub.
Sue Moffatt, head of commercial and procurement at the NPIA, said, “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.”
ProcServe already supports the xchangewales and the Procurement for Housing trading hubs for the UK public sector.
Earlier this year the NPIA signed a national framework for mobile services and devices with Vodafone, in a move designed to make it cheaper and easier for individual forces to deploy new services.
Under the agreement, Vodafone initally won a four-year contract with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to continue to support the force's network of mobiles.