Public-sector resellers have hailed the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency’s (Pasa) new online tendering system, which was rolled out last month, as a success.
Before July, any reseller bidding for an NHS tender was required to follow a paper-based application route. The new electronic system manages the process through a single web interface.
Joe Walsh, head of e-procurement at Pasa, said the system will help to drive down procurement costs and free up funds for service development.
“The normal tender process is 37 days, and this has not changed. However, the new site has made the process easier and more secure for all participants. It covers the whole procurement process from start to finish, and it is all encapsulated in a single piece of technology,” he said.
Lee Simpson, public-sector client manager at Telindus, welcomed the new system. “Online tendering systems work well and help to cut down paperwork. Some regional ones are even used as information portals to give resellers access to vast amounts of tender information,” he said.
Reseller Damovo last week won an extension of its Pasa contract to provide the NHS with voice, video and data products and services until August 2008. Paul Renucci, managing director of Damovo, said online procurement can have benefits as well as pitfalls.
“This is an efficient way for Pasa to procure. However, the more a process becomes dehumanised, the more danger there is of it becoming the end in itself rather than the means to an end,” he said.
Any reseller bidding for an NHS tender is now required to apply through the online system. They can use it to register their expression of interest, download tender documentation and respond to pre-qualification information requests.
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