Public Sector Roundup: Supply chain savings

Surrey is expecting to save £300,000 after streamlining its book procurement, Birmingham is using recycled IT for social programmes, and the EU looks to biometrics for resident card security.

Supply chain system to save Surrey 300,000

Surrey County Council

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Christine Stevens, Surrey County Council Executive Member said, "We welcome this excellent work to help our library service become more effective in the purchasing process. This will benefit our service and the residents who use our libraries."

Surrey buys stock for 52 static and five mobile libraries - some 230,000 items annually. Now, they order stock and place orders via a website, which are automatically carried over to the acquisitions system, meaning no separate forms need be filled out and delivery lists are automated.

Janice Harding, Senior Procurement Officer for Libraries & Culture, said: "Our administrative overheads have reduced significantly as a result of reviewing our processes and implementing more efficient ways of working. In 2003, we needed 17 people to do the job that will reduce to three by April 2008."

Birmingham recycles IT for social projects

Birmingham City Council

Helen Connery from Birmingham Libraries said: "IT for the housebound is an exciting initiative and we're delighted to accept the equipment that has been so kindly donated... Having access to a computer and the online world can make a huge difference to people who can't get out and about."

EU resident permit to be a smart card

European Union

Technical specifications will be published next year, with the permit rolled out in the next two years. The specifications for the resident card will include a photo and fingerprints, which will be encrypted.

The European Citizen Card will also allow cardholders to access public services, as an identity card and when using internet services. The card will be given to temporary and permanent residents, as well as to visa holders - which could include some 20 million people in the EU.

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