Australia’s first comprehensive online procurement service is expected to deliver millions of dollars in savings to Western Australian taxpayers and open up whole new markets to suppliers.
Works and Services Minister Rob Johnson today announced an agreement had been reached with Sun Microsystems to develop the Government Electronic Market (Gem).
“The State currently spends almost $5 billion each year on goods and services and the cost of a typical transaction ranges between $75 and $100,” Mr Johnson said.
“Using Gem, this should be reduced to less than $10.
“It is estimated that Gem has the potential to save WA taxpayers $100 million per annum on processing costs alone.
“That is money that can be channelled into priority areas like health and education.”
Potential users of Gem include local and State Government agencies, schools, hospitals, prisons, public benevolent institutions, Government trading enterprises and any third party purchasers who buy on behalf of Government.
Gem will also revolutionise the way suppliers and State Government agencies do business - and deliver substantial savings to both.
It offers access to an enormous market of Government buyers, simple access to electronic commerce, greater efficiency and quicker payment for products and services sold to the WA Government.
Mr Johnson said there was already national and international interest in the scope and capabilities of Gem.
Contract and Management Services is currently working with the Commonwealth to develop a Single Supplier Register that could be used for nearly all government purchasing.
“If developed nationwide, a Gem-like system has the potential to tap into 500,000 supplier points and up to $95 billion worth of Government buying annually,” Mr Johnson said.
“Gem will be the most comprehensive electronic business environment worldwide - it will slash red tape and reduce inefficiencies in the procurement environment.”
Mr Johnson said that in the next few months, Gem would deliver desktop purchasing capability to around 100,000 public sector employees, replacing many different ways of purchasing - including paper-based and automated systems.
Gem users would be able to browse, search, request information and quotes and place orders for goods and services online and then have them approved and paid for - all from the desktop.
“It is expected that around 80 per cent of Government purchasing will benefit from the use of Gem,” the Minister said.
“In fact, the whole range of products and services purchased by the State Government will be accessible through Gem - from routine purchases of supplies to tendering for the construction of a new prison or school.”
Mr Johnson said Gem connected the full range of online procurement services developed by the State Government.
Gem joins Procurelink, the Government Contracting Information Bulletin Board, Electronic Tender Lodgement, Drawings Online, Online Contract Management and Common Use Contracts to deliver a comprehensive procurement processing service.
Media contact: Fran Hodge (08) 9215 4800