Intenet auction savings for council

MILLIONS of computer fans have saved billions of pounds by buying goods on internet auction sites.Now Ipswich Borough Council has taken a leaf out of their book and saved £87,500.

MILLIONS of computer fans have saved billions of pounds by buying goods on internet auction sites.

Now Ipswich Borough Council has taken a leaf out of their book and saved £87,500 on furniture for its new headquarters by using an internet site.

While buyers bid up against each other on most sites, the Ipswich council saved even more pennies by driving down the price down - asking potential suppliers to bid in a Dutch auction.

This resulted in the original tender price for the furniture being forced down from £364,000 to less than £280,000 - a saving of 24per cent on the original tender.

The auction was set up by the government's Regional Centre of Excellence - and meant that the council did not have to go through the normally bureaucratic process of advertising in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Council leader Elizabeth Harsant said the auction was a first for the town.

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She said: “This is the first time we have used this method for major purchases and we are delighted that it has managed to bring down the price so substantially.

“It is certainly an approach we will be using in future - it shows there is a real benefit to using new technology to save money.”

Ipswich council's new Grafton House headquarters is due to open later in the summer. It will signal the closure of Civic Centre which will be demolished so the site can be used for a new retail development.