MAV chief executive officer Rob Spence said the new centre, called MAV Procurement, would reduce local government costs and improve service delivery.
"Local government spends more than $2.7 billion on goods and services annually. MAV Procurement will focus on those initiatives that can achieve both cost and service outcomes," he said.
“Ratepayers and local communities stand to benefit from councils achieving better value for money, and through delivering procurement strategies that support local economic and industry development."
Spence said that the centre would offer training and development to council members to help improve current procurement strategies.
"It will also support local government to transform council services and policy outcomes through improved procurement strategies. Ongoing research, training and development will also be offered to boost capacity and practices across the sector,” he said.
The Local Government Act was changed in 2008 with a requirement for all councils to prepare and approve a procurement policy.
Spence said an in-house procurement centre was the natural next step following recent legislative changes, the release of a Local Government Procurement Strategy and several group purchasing initiatives that had already reduced councils’ operating costs and transformed service delivery.
The MAV negotiated cost savings in 2005 of $1.5 million over three years through a $10 million collaborative purchasing agreement of computer equipment for 55 councils.
“Group purchasing particularly benefits smaller councils that cannot usually access the pricing benefits of larger councils," Spence said.
"Local government has actively pursued collaborative solutions for some time and the MAV Procurement centre provides an extra dimension to directly achieve outcomes in this area."
The new MAV Procurement centre is a non-profit entity.