Police bid to save £120k with buying hub

Lincolnshire Police is the first force in the country to use the new National Police Procurement Hub, an electronic procurement system set to reduce back office costs.

The force went live with the service on August 12 and says it could to save an estimated £120,000 per year in process costs.

This national system allows police forces to do the whole process of ordering, buying, invoicing and paying online, replacing various manual purchasing systems.

All 43 forces in England and Wales due to be using the system by June 2012.

The Hub gives the police service the ability to select, purchase and pay for a range of approved goods and services online from 500 suppliers, “Amazon-style”.

Lincolnshire Police completed a review of support services across the force in 2010 which reduced the number of staff employed in “back office” functions.

The review also included the establishment of a Central Purchasing Unit (from remaining staff) ahead of the introduction of the electronic procurement system.

As reported last year, Lincolnshire Police are facing tough cuts, with around 170 job losses and 5.1% cut from their budget.

Peter Steed, Assistant Chief Officer and Director of Resources at Lincolnshire Police, said: “We are delighted to be the first force to adopt this system which will enable us to make significant time and cost savings on the goods that we purchase.”

Lincolnshire Police Authority Chairman Barry Young added: “We are acutely aware that the people we serve expect us to strive to provide best value for their money.

“The new system has been used in Government departments for some time and its ability to cut costs has been amply demonstrated. We are pleased to be leading the way nationally in its use by the police service.”

Source: Lincolnshire Police | Related Report: The Inquirer