GPC Implementation Guide, Version 2.3

Buying Solutions
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The GPC programme, is delivered in partnership with the card scheme Visa and six Visa issuing banks (in no particular order) - Barclaycard Business, Co-Operative Bank, LloydsTSB, Royal Bank of Scotland/Nat West and Ulster Bank.

GPC provides substantial benefits for users by providing a streamlined process for low value, ad hoc purchases. Improved management information allows users to monitor and evaluate purchasing activity and to collaborate with others to secure improved terms with suppliers.

There are no card charges and the need for time-consuming authorisation is removed. Buying Solutions (endorsed by National Audit Office) estimates that, on average, £28 is saved on each transaction processed by GPC, when compared with traditional paper-based invoice systems. The opportunity to greatly reduce paperwork is not only environmentally friendly but also provides the potential for substantial cost savings for both public sector organisations and their suppliers, who also benefit from prompt payment.

Under the terms of the GPC Framework, the GPC card issuing banks may issue any of the cards in their corporate card portfolio. For example, the GPC card itself is a distinctive HM Governmentbranded card, which may not be preferred by non-Central & Civil Government Organisations. Organisations can select a Visa Purchasing Card programme from the banks under the terms of the GPC Framework and references in this Guide to GPC relate to all GPC and Visa Purchasing Card programmes.

GPC programmes empower employees to purchase goods and services, with certain restrictions, on behalf of their organisation. GPC is a charge card and the organisation pays a monthly bill received from the GPC issuing bank, comprising the total of their employees’ spend for the previous month. The GPC process eliminates labour intensive purchase orders, invoices and shipping documents.

GPC can be an effective tool for cutting process costs, helping to empower end users, focus purchasing effort where it counts and streamline accounts payable. If implemented to maximum effect it can cut process and staffing costs, potentially enabling staff to be redeployed, whilst not only maintaining control and management information but also actually improving them.

(1. The Government Procurement Card Framework)