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UK procurement slower and more expensive than EU

The UK has the most expensive procurement process in Europe, new research from the Centre for Economic Business Research (CEBR) indicates.

The average total cost of a competitive procurement process in the UK is £45,200, 90% more expensive than the EU average, and 53 days longer. This can dissuade some organisations from tendering, reducing competition and choice.

The research also showed the average cost per bid to a UK public authority was £1,260, compared to £800 in the EU, with a 60% higher cost to attract each bid. The study was commissioned by Gatewit, an e-procurement provider.

Pedro Vaz Paulo, the company’s CEO, said: “There are multiple areas of concern for public sector procurement departments in the CEBR data. With public bodies looking to reduce expenditure across the board, the cost of attracting bids in the UK is still too high when compared to other similar European countries. The long duration of competitive procurement processes in the UK adds expense because of the increased labour costs incurred by longer competitions.

“The EU Commission aims to combat these problems through a mandate requiring all public bodies to implement e-procurement platforms by 2016. Some countries have already begun to implement these solutions, but our own research has predicted savings of £30b across Europe when the rules come into force and the use of e-procurement becomes widespread.

“Using e-procurement solutions will enable the public sector across Europe to reduce its procurement costs, shorten the time per competition and increase transparency. In the process this will enable greater competition because more firms will be encouraged to bid if the process is made easier, therefore ensuring best value for governments and taxpayers.”

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