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LOCALGOVT.PROCURE builds local govt. bridges

MEDIA RELEASE

13 November 2001

LOCALGOVT.PROCURE builds bridge between local government and business

Local Government Online is launching a new web service, which will change the way local governments do business, with each other and with local businesses.

The new web service accessed through the existing local government portal www.localgovt.co.nz offers three new capabilities, including an infrastructure for collaborative purchasing amongst local authorities, a shared services capability and a partnership with global tendering system - TenderLink.

The web site does not claim to be a full “e”-procurement solution for the local Government sector, because that was seen to be unrealistic at this stage.

“Business case studies sponsored for the local government sector show that the most efficient and effective way to advance e-procurement initiatives in this sector are not through establishing a national procurement strategy,” said Local Government Online executive director Bob Vine.

“You have seen the latest information coming out about the e-readiness of local governments - many are only taking the first steps in establishing their e-commerce strategies . What was needed from the start was an infrastructure which allowed the 86 authorities, who have not had a history of doing so previously, take advantage of purchasing together for their mutual benefit, at little or no cost.”

Modelled on a purchasing group operating in Canterbury for the last four years, the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM), which jointly sponsors the portal with the Association of Local Government Information Managers (ALGIM), resolved to support the establishment of regional purchasing networks around the country.

“The Canterbury region have realised significant savings across their procurement operations, an example alone that should provide incentive enough for other local governments to participate,” said Bob Vine.

Another service offered on the site is a link to the e-tendering system, TenderLink. All Requests for Tenders, Expressions of Interest and Requests for Proposals coming from the local government sector can now be advertised electronically to thousands of registered suppliers around New Zealand, and even Australia.

“With LOCALGOVT.PROCURE and TenderLink, the local government sector can now move away from paper-based tendering to a 21st century electronic tendering system,” said Bob Vine.

“Both local government, and the businesses they deal with, will benefit. LOCALGOVT.PROCURE allows them to do business faster and smarter than ever before. Online tendering is anticipated to bring savings in the vicinity of $1.2 million to local government authorities alone.”

“The TenderLink electronic tendering service is the first of its kind in New Zealand,” said TenderLink founder and chief executive Philip Brown. “We’re applying state-of-the-art new economy technology to a whole sector of New Zealand, which will have significant benefits for the local authorities and businesses too.”

“The tendering process will change with the new technology, it is only a matter of time before electronic tendering and in particular the advertising of tenders will all be done online. The time and cost advantages for both purchaser and supplier will significantly reduce the true costs of tendering.

“Electronic tendering levels the playing field for businesses of all shapes and sizes around the country. That will create new opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses and result in better deals for local government.

“Any business supplying goods or services to local government will want to get on board. LOCALGOVT.PROCURE via the TenderLink platform offers them a one-stop-shop for accessing the estimated $1 billion in local government purchasing each year.

“And the potential benefits are so great that we expect many local government authorities to eventually advertise tenders exclusively with TenderLink.”

When launching the government’s e-commerce strategy last year, Information Technology Minister Paul Swain said government, in partnership with business, must champion e-commerce across the community.

“TenderLink clearly demonstrates the benefits of e-government. A recent Hong Kong government survey found that electronic tendering cost up to 50% less than paper-based tendering. TenderLink will substantially lower costs to both local government and business by bringing both together in a single paperless tendering system,” said Philip Brown.

Vice President for the Society of Local Government Managers, Tony Marryatt said “LOCALGOVT.PROCURE is a bridge between the local government and business sectors. This is part of our response to Local Government minister Hon Sandra Lee’s call for “partnership between government, local communities and the private sector’. LOCALGOVT.PROCURE is helping local government and the private sector do business in the 21st century.”

The third capability of the web site is a shared services facility, which will allow local authorities to advertise spare capacity, be it machinery or personnel, to other local authorities.

ENDS

About Local Government Online

Local Government Online is a portal for the local government sector bringing together a range of resources and services in one website. Established in 1998, Local Government Online is a joint initiative of the Society of Local Government Managers and the Association of Local Government Information Managers.

For more information visit the Local Government Online website at http://www.localgovt.co.nz or contact Local Government Online executive director Bob Vine:

- Email: bob.vine@paradise.net.nz

-

- Mobile: +64 (21) 510 682

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About Tenderlink.com

Tenderlink.com provides electronic tendering solutions bringing purchasers and suppliers together online. Tenderlink.com is a home-grown new economy success story. Founded in New Plymouth in 1994, Tenderlink.com now has offices in New Plymouth, Auckland, and Sydney and plans to open offices in other markets.

For more information visit Tenderlink.com’s website at http://www.tenderlink.com or contact Tenderlink.com founder and chief executive Phillip Brown:

- Email: philip.nz@tenderlink.com

-

- Mobile: ++64 (6) 759 1044

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About electronic tendering

TenderLink automates every step in the tendering process for purchasers (local government agencies) and suppliers (businesses supplying them with goods and services): lodging tenders, forwarding tenders to suppliers, lodging responses, safely storing responses, and forwarding responses to purchasers when tenders close.

TenderLink is a secure and independent electronic tendering service. Confidentiality is ensured by encrypting all communications with suppliers and purchasers. Independence is maintained by using a totally automated process - even TenderLink does not see suppliers’ offers before tenders close.

Released by Tracy Dillimore, Network Communications, 025 405 595


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