The government has finally abandoned its GoProcure electronic procurement system.
The project had never officially moved beyond trial stage. Now the trial is completed, “the project will be concluded and GoProcure will not proceed to the next phase”, says State Services Minister Trevor Mallard.
Hailed as one of the key applications of e-government in its early days, GoProcure was intended to increase the efficiency of government agencies’ procurement of goods and services, by centralising the network and hence lessening the number of interfaces between agencies and suppliers.
It was also anticipated that centralisation would allow agencies to be aware of one another’s purchases and be encouraged to pool their efforts for better deals.
The contract to develop the system was awarded to Oracle, with assistance from Cap-Gemini Ernst & Young (CGEY).
But few agencies appeared interested. In mid-2002, the government resorted to compelling all agencies to take on at least the “core procurement hub”, passing transactions through the network but retaining local purchasing and workflow software on their own systems.
A third option was to have been “exchange purchasing”: small agencies would use a more simple system to access GoProcure catalogues over the internet and send orders directly through the hub.
A year later, the SSC announced that the full-service option would not, after all, be implemented, as it was judged too complex. The hub solution was trialled with New Zealand Police and the University of Auckland.
“The trial found that only a small number of government agencies and suppliers will benefit in the short term from using GoProcure,” Mallard says. “It is likely that by the time more agencies are ready to use GoProcure, there will be other alternatives to provide these services, and government leadership in this area will no longer be required.”
The project was originally budgeted at $7.5 million, including the full-service option. Only $2 million has been spent on the system to date, Mallard says.