Police set up web marketplace for procurement

An online store is being rolled out to police forces by the National Police Improvement Agency in a bid to streamline the procurement process for goods and services.The portal, described by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) as an "Amazon-style electronic marketplace", will allow police forces to make purchases from authorised contracts without having to use paper orders and invoices.

An online store is being rolled out to police forces by the National Police Improvement Agency in a bid to streamline the procurement process for goods and services.

The portal, described by the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA) as an "Amazon-style electronic marketplace", will allow police forces to make purchases from authorised contracts without having to use paper orders and invoices.

"The police service is committed to deliver significant savings from better procurement. It is absolutely vital that those charged with buying goods and services have access to the tools that make them available quickly, and directly to their desktop," Sue Moffatt, head of commercial and procurement at the NPIA, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The scheme is being rolled out to all forces nationwide and is due to be completed by June 2012.

The NPIA hopes that it could save the police service up to £30m. Additionally, it said that the market would make the procurement process more efficient by enabling forces to buy services together and would allow small and medium enterprises to work more efficiently with the police service.

While some forces already provide electronic processes for parts of the procurement procedure, the web store will be the first that allows forces to complete the whole process online, the NPIA said.

In February 2010, the government launched a pilot of its G Cloud store which delivers apps to hundreds of public-sector organisations, in the hope of reducing level of government IT spending.

The G Cloud is part of a package of measures designed to reduce the government's overall ICT spend by delivering applications and software-as-a-service (SaaS) products from a centralised location.

An NPIA spokesperson told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the online store is unrelated to the government G Cloud project.

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