Government departments have been asked to put any e-procurement projects on hold until the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has completed the implementation of its own system.
OGC spokesman Martin Day told vnunet.com that all government departments had been asked to "hang fire" on e-procurement developments until the OGC had finalised its plans.
The OGC has invited tenders to supply it with an e-procurement system covering its £40m annual spending, which Day said would be used to help evaluate which available systems would be suitable for a wider roll out.
The variation in the sophistication of procurement systems used across government departments makes it harder to share information about good and bad suppliers, according to Day.
"The ultimate aim is to have a system that, with a little development, can be used by all departments, enabling them to share information for the first time," he said.
"Our own project will give us the chance to evaluate what is out there."
Tenders for the OGC system must be submitted by 20 January. The project, which will see the system introduced for 390 staff across five sites, is due to be completed by the end of June.
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