DfE looks to build streamlined procurement service for schools

Written by Sam Trendall on 7 August 2019 in News
News

Department to spend £400k exploring creation of digital tool

Credit: Public domain

The Department for Education is to create a digital procurement service “to help schools save money on standard catalogue purchases”.

The DfE is looking for a commercial partner to conduct research and help it develop and test a prototype tool that could improve the “inefficient” way schools currently buy commodity products and services. The department wants to create a service through which schools can navigate a catalogue of goods to find the most appropriate product at the best available price. 

Problems encountered by schools as part of the existing “manual and time-consuming” process include a lack of “easily accessible [and] trustworthy information about value”. Suppliers, meanwhile, face a high cost of entry to the market and other obstacles, the DfE said.


Related content


In recent years, the department has conducted three discovery exercises “looking into the needs and pain points faced by school buyers”. The last of these progressed into an alpha stage, but none has yet moved on into a public beta service.

“This year there has been some further economic analysis done by the DfE Delivery Unit, which showed a large price variance across online goods catalogues,” the department said. “This identified market failure has prompted us to start this piece of work.”

The DfE is looking for a supplier to work with an existing seven-strong team of civil servants over the course of an eight-week discovery exercise, followed by an optional 12-week alpha. 

A budget of £400,000 is available for the programme. Bids are open until 19 August.

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

Share this page

Tags

Categories

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Related Sponsored Articles

The age of virtualisation
17 September 2019

After more than 20 years of stability, networks are going through a period of dramatic transformation. BT looks beyond the hype at the real benefits of virtualisation.

Digital Transformation: Connecting and protecting with perfect predictability
10 September 2019

How can you stay ahead in the fast-paced world of digital technology? BT describes how it's a matter of focus... 

How to stay ahead of a changing threat landscape
3 September 2019

The security threat landscape is confusing and changing rapidly – there’s so much out there, how do you understand where the true risks are? BT offers insight from their own experience

The cyber security skills challenge: Hiring for tomorrow
27 August 2019

Organisations must alter their approach to cyber security recruitment in order to combat the global shortage of security professionals, writes BT