B2B e-commerce has transformed the buying habits of the private sector, with companies of all sizes adjusting their strategic thinking to quicken turnaround times, reduce costs and red tape, keep inventory just-in-time, track orders, replenish consumables, anticipate the next requirement, upgrade systems and plan maintenance. Individual firms have saved hundreds of millions – in some cases billions – of dollars through e-procurement. The public sector is trying to jump on to this bandwagon, but hasn’t quite made it all the way.
Why not? The public sector procures its goods and services in the same business venues as the private sector, and many government contractors are already carrying out online transactions with their own suppliers. Certainly these firms would like to see government embrace e-procurement. An electronic tendering system planned in Britain is expected to produce value for money gains of