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

‘Policy mandarins don’t get that engaged in reform’ – Francis Maude
20 November 2019

In an interview with the Civil Service World podcast, the former Cabinet Office minister discusses frustrations of attempts to push through digital and procurement transformation

Is the public sector ready for the end of Windows 7?
14 November 2019

Today marks two months until Microsoft ceases support for its decade-old operating system. PublicTechnology discovers that government is tight lipped about how widely the technology...

Is procurement a friend or foe for local government transformation?
24 October 2019

Buying processes should be seen as an enabler of innovation, rather than a barrier, according to Georgina Maratheftis of techUK

Related Sponsored Articles

Three best-practice measures in the event of a data breach
3 December 2019

To have the best chance of an effective response and a full recovery, organisations should have a robust incident response strategy in place, says BT 

How to take control of your network
26 November 2019

We hear from BT about why delivering a great customer experience depends on your network visibility 

The future of voice: how to successfully transform your legacy voice estate
19 November 2019

Organisations are increasingly having to replace their legacy voice infrastructure as traditional analogue and ISDN lines are being phased out. BT talk about how they can help the transition...

Case Study: Cryptocurrency, connectivity and the cloud
12 November 2019

BT presents findings from cryptocurrency firm Gemini on how they're providing customers with direct connectivity thanks to the Radianz network