The growth of e-procurement in the public sector

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Public sector procurement has been a controversial subject in recent months, with new directives designed to affect how federal agencies acquire goods and services. The recently announced Innovation Agenda, for example, will see a greater focus on public entities purchasing services from the country’s small business.

That same Innovation Agenda will see government departments becoming digital-led organisations, mirroring the rise of e-procurement and new models for purchasing services. As federal agencies look to become technology-driven and also embrace the potential that comes from e-procurement, tools like Yarris Legal Gateway are going to become increasingly important for developing this response.

The growing impact of e-procurement

Recent research published by Raconteur Media tracked how the procurement process is changing over time as a result of e-procurement solutions.

According to the research, e-procurement was originally concerned with bolting new technology onto established processes of selecting and engaging with service providers. This began with the adoption of the PC, and later email, as tools that complemented established analogue processes.

However, the growth of digital technology has reached a point where e-procurement is able to replace manual processes with “fully integrated e-markets”. E-procurement has also had a widespread impact on different aspects of an organisation’s procurement process. Among the core benefits the research documented were:

  • Automating processes (51 per cent)
  • Centralising procurement in a single platform (38 per cent)
  • Integrating e-procurement with contract compliance and accounts payable (33 per cent)

Understanding e-procurement in the public sector

While there are many similarities between private-sector procurement and that taking place in the public sector, it’s important to specify the differences between the two. Research published in the Journal of Public Procurement identified a number of key drivers that separate the two. In particular, arrangements between public entities and the services they procure are dominated by a greater focus on contractual arrangements that are designed to protect the public good.

Likewise, the scale of public sector procurement demands greater oversight, with the research citing figures that found 20-30 per cent of GDP in advanced economies can be linked to government purchasing.

In terms of e-procurement specifically, public agencies were characterised by a much greater range of stakeholders that have to be considered as part of this process. The research found that the most successful entities and software platforms were those that could handle this variety.

Clearly, public e-procurement takes a different form to that in the private sector, even as both transition to those fully integrated e-markets that the Raconteur Media research observed. This is where services like Yarris Legal Gateway have now come to the fore.

Mastering public sector legal procurement with Yarris Legal Gateway

Through the Yarris Legal Gateway platform, public sector agencies get access to a range of different legal services that can meet the complex issues public agencies have to navigate.

As well as providing access to a wide range of legal services, the platform offers a number of key benefits, including:

  • Compliance management. Thanks to Yarris Legal Gateway’s innovative design, public agencies can maintain their need for contract compliance and legal services management all through a single platform.
  • Centralised procurement. Rather than managing their purchasing through a number of different channels, the Yarris Legal Gateway system makes it easy for agencies to oversee their entire legal spend in a single location.
  • Financial oversight. As well as being able to manage the entire procurement service through a single platform for administrative oversight, Yarris Legal Gateway’s marketplace design makes it easy to compare different services and choose a firm that meets the demand for financial accountability within purchase decisions.
  • Developments like e-procurement have already changed the landscape for public agencies looking to acquire the right legal services for their needs. Thanks to solutions like Yarris Legal Gateway, these services are now more accessible and easier to use than ever.