Govt may accept half-a-go on e-procurement

The government may accept a halfway face-saver in its effort to gain enough custom for its pilot of the e-procurement project, GoProcure, to proceed to full implementation.

The government may accept a halfway face-saver in its effort to gain enough custom for its pilot of the e-procurement project, GoProcure, to proceed to full implementation.

Many agencies could end up running their own intermal systems and using GoProcure just to funnel transactions to common suppliers.

Confirming State Services Minister Trevor Mallard’s indication that “options are now being considered to ensure sufficient agency participation in Go-Procure”, Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel has told Parliament “there would remain an element of competitive choice for individual agencies, depending on their particular requirements.

“Agencies would be able to choose other software systems for their internal requisitioning, for instance, while using GoProcure as a transaction hub or link to supplier catalogues.”

Police and NZ Defence Force, two of the most prominent independents on the e-procurement front, have already flagged such partial participation as an option. Police procurement manager Stan Pope said in May the police could set up a link with GoProcure so that other departments can share information with them.

"This will give a high-level visibility, so [other agencies] have some feeling for what procurement is going on. We're quite happy to co-operate in that," he said (see Police to link with govt's e-buying.)

Police's in-house procurement system is based on SAP.

NZDF logistics director Stewart Baillie said last month that in spite of running its own SAP system, the NZDF has a "quite pragmatic" attitude to possible future participation in GoProcure. "If GoProcure produced a relationship with a vendor that fitted our strategy, we'd click in," he said (see Slow but sure for Defence e-buying).

Dalziel was replying to questions from ACT leader Richard Prebble, who is on the offensive over GoProcure (see Mallard ponders mandating GoProcure).

Prebble also asked about the likely cost of GoProcure, bearing in mind the apparent reduced interest. The tender accepted in April, from CAP Gemini Ernst & Young and Oracle, was for $7.5 million over five years.

“Alternate project costings have been provided since April 2002, for different options based on different scenarios for use by government agencies," Dalziel said. “A final costing will be agreed with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young at such time that it is agreed to progress to the operational phase. The cost will be based on the pricing agreed in April 2002, but may vary based on the final user requirements and volumes.”

She responded to Prebble saying that compulsion to use the system, especially if only partial, could not be a matter for appeal under competition law, as the initial tender was fully competitive.

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