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Tyneside to use more e-bids for materials

A NORTH-EAST council is planning to use more e-auctions after saving £6 million tendering work for its Decent Homes programme.

North Tyneside Council introduced electronic tendering for six contracts to bring homes up to scratch. Suppliers are able to see each other's bids then beat them with a lower offer.

The contracts were for materials such as window frames and doors. More e-auctions for materials are being planned.

Cliff Appleby, in charge of e-procurement at North Tyneside, said: 'We are looking at drawing up a programme of e-auctions.'

But Mr Appleby said it was unlikely major building schemes would be tendered this way. He said: 'It's fairly easy where it's product related like materials or with agency staff. It's not the nature of the beast with buildings.'

Rudi Klein, chief executive of the Specialist Engineering Contractors Association, said e-auctions should only be used to tender generic goods.

He added: 'To use it for large scale construction contracts is just nonsensical.'