N.C. launches e-procurement
- By Brian Robinson
- Nov 06, 2001
North Carolina home page
North Carolina this month formally launched an electronic procurement system
that eventually will handle more than $1 billion a year of the state's
purchases of goods and services.
The system, called NC E-P[email protected] Service, was built jointly
by Accenture, a technology consulting organization, and Epylon Corp., a
public-sector e-procurement provider.
It replaces two customized systems that enabled the government to notify
vendors of bids and post bids electronically. The new system offers those
functions, as well as online services and the publishing of online catalogs,
so buyers have access to national markets for products.
The system was built under a scheme that imposes no cost on the state
and repays Accenture for its investment with a 1.75 percent fee levied on
suppliers for each order delivered. If Accenture is not reimbursed within
five years, then the North Carolina government will pay out some money under
a "shared risk" arrangement.
"The new system will produce an improved system on both the government
and vendor sides of the process," said Wendy Kuhn, a special assistant to
the state's chief information officer. "In particular, it will give government
a much better handle on how much it spends. Traditionally, we haven't been
able to track procurement expenses all that well, and this new system will
greatly improve on that, as well as get us better prices from vendors."
The system, launched Nov. 1, will be phased in over the next couple
of months, Kuhn said, during which most government agencies will come online.
Over time, the system also will include universities, community colleges,
municipalities and counties, and local education authorities.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.