Public sector gets cut-price PCs

Hardware prices have been halved through an auction organised by the Government

The Government has struck a deal with IT suppliers that will allow the public sector to buy hardware with up to a 45 percent discount.

OGCbuying.solutions — the Government's e-procurement arm — conducted the competition for desktop, laptops and monitors.

Suppliers were asked to give prices against a common set of specifications, resulting in savings of over 45 percent.

Hugh Barrett, chief executive of OGCbuying.solutions, said the PC specifications are designed to handle current software packages and subsequent releases. He said the deal meant laptops can now be bought for around £430, and desktops for around £280.

The "highly competitive" pricing applies regardless of the volumes purchased.

Seventeen companies involved in the initiative will have to update their deals every three months, the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) said. The deals are available to all public-sector customers.

Earlier this year an online auction saved 12 public-sector organisations a combined £2.7m on the purchase of IT hardware.

The auction, the fifth of a series run by the OGC, led to a 41 percent reduction in purchase price against the starting bid of £6.5m.

The auction ran for just over seven hours and led to a total of 400 bids from seven IT suppliers. Among the 12 public-sector bodies to use the auction to procure IT hardware were various NHS Trusts, a social housing body and a primary school.

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