£25m public sector saving hope from procurement service
Public organisations in Wales could save £25m a year by joining forces to buy goods and services, the Welsh government says.
Seventy public bodies will take part in the national procurement service when it is launched on Thursday.
The Welsh government says there will be bulk buying for a lower price, and fewer contracts, tenders and invoices.
The Welsh public sector spends £4bn each year on goods and services and Welsh suppliers will be targeted.
The National Procurement Service for Wales (NPS) is based in Bedwas, Caerphilly.
Stationery, office furniture, professional services, IT hardware and software and transport fleet are amongst the goods and services included in the new scheme.
The Welsh government, all local authorities, health boards, universities, colleges, fire and rescue and police authorities in Wales are taking part.
Finance Minister Jane Hutt said it was an important development at a time when budgets are getting increasingly tight.
"How we use our annual £4.3bn public procurement expenditure continues to have a profound impact on Welsh jobs, both in the public and private sector," she said.
"As public bodies face tighter budgets we have to look at new ways of finding savings.
"Improving public procurement is essential to make the most of the Welsh pound and direct resources to the frontline," she added.
Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths said the service "will deliver more streamlined, efficient procurement services which are expected to generate savings of up to £25m each year and will provide more opportunities for smaller local companies to bid for contracts."