The Office of Government Commerce (OGC), the UK Government organisation responsible for civil central procurement policy, has awarded a five-year contract to Visa for the provision of corporate and purchasing cards.
According to UK Government figures, the agreement is expected to save the central government in excess of $300 million.
The agreement, won competitively by Visa and a consortium of its UK member banks (Barclays, The Co-operative Bank, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank) following an open tendering process, follows the recent completion of the original Government Procurement Card (GPC) contract, which delivered over $100 million in process savings.
Visa says the new system will streamline the procurement procedure, cutting down on administration and simplifying the government's audit trail.
As part of the new agreement, use of the GPC has been extended beyond its original remit of central government and now includes the wider UK public sector, including all UK local authorities and devolved administrations.
The GPC is currently used by over 39,000 public sector cardholders covering 180 government departments and agencies in the UK alone.