The head of the new Office of Government Commerce has given the construction industry two years to move to electronic tendering.

Chief executive Peter Gershon, who quit as chief operating officer of BAE Systems to join the OGC, aims to save at least £1bn a year from Whitehall’s annual £13bn civil procurement budget.

Gershon, whose salary will be £180 000, carried out a review of central government purchasing last year and plans to build on existing initiatives, such as the Ministry of Defence’s Building Down Barriers.

The office, which comes into being on 1 April, is charged with exploiting e-commerce to cut the cost of government procurement, as well as vetting private finance schemes.