ESPO is a joint Committee of Local Authorities and operates within the Local Government (Goods & Services) Act 1970. It acts as a purchasing agent for its member authorities and other customers and provides a professional cost effective procurement and supply service. The use of our products and services by our member authorities and other customers, as measured by the value of their combined procurement activities, amounts to some £700 million pa and the procurement services provided can be grouped into four categories as follows:
- A strategic role offering best practice relating to the procurement function as a whole. ESPO offers leading edge advice on major complex procurement and contracting issues, competition and services, Best Value driven reviews of service provision and one-off project based procurements. Over the last two years in particular, this aspect of our procurement activity and expertise has grown significantly.
- A procurement role for goods and services commonly used by a number of customers throughout the consortium area. This type of activity includes framework call off contracts and some local contracting where local issues are of key consideration.
- A catalogue based provision where ESPO purchases products in volume (usually low value high volume type products) from manufacturers in the main, and the resultant economies of scale mean we can purchase into our central warehouse at Grove Park and deliver to customers using a combination of our own and contracted transport. An on-line ordering facility is available for those who want to use it.
- A procurement service for 'ad hoc' goods and services required by customers where advice, guidance and good practice are the watchwords. Often customers need commercial solutions to meet a need or specific requirement in this field.
We are a self-financing organisation, operating on a not-for-profit basis, utilising the aggregate buying volumes of our member authorities and other customers to maximise the potential savings for all customers in every area of our procurement activity.