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    Managing procurement to improve front line services Managing procurement to improve front line services Document Transcript

    • Leading learning and skillsManaging procurementto improve front-lineservicesThis guide senior college managersA guide foris aimed at senior college managersJune 2008
    • Step 3 Putting structures in place – managing procurementl Establish the college’s procurement vision and key objectives.l Create a procurement strategy that will achieve the vision and objectives, which best suit the college.l Set targets for improving procurement efficiencies. Report progress at procurement board meetings.l Set up a procurement network.l Establish the college’s position on key issues around procurement and create policies to support them. These should be signed off by the board. 3l Ensure all staff with authority to procure goods and services are aware of the college’s procedures and processes, and that they comply with legal requirements.l Set up and maintain a procurement site on the college’s intranet.Step 2 Getting a clear picture – information gatheringll Audit and review existing procurement processes and procedures. Conduct a spend analysis, using an external specialist if necessary, and transform data into management information. 2l Identify the key risks to which the college is exposed.l Examine supplier relationships and ensure the college’s terms and conditions have been adopted.l Explore any other procurement weaknesses.l Prioritise procurement actions with ‘quick wins’ and medium and longer term plans. 1Step 1 A strong lead – getting the right people on boardl Make procurement a priority. Governors and senior managers need to actively engage and push it up the college agenda.l Identify a procurement champion.l Appoint a procurement liaison officer. Ensure he or she has support from senior management and gains the appropriate training and skills.l Establish a procurement board comprising the procurement champion and the owners of significant budgets.l Connect with the LSC FE Procurement Development Team. Visit www.felp.ac.uk or email fecollegeprocurement@lsc.gov.uk for help and advice on a wide range of procurement and procurement-related issues.
    • Step 4 Into action – taking steps to improve efficiencies l Decide which categories and sub-categories would be suitable for procurement through consortia or another contracting body. l Research the different consortia and contracting bodies and decide which would fit the college’s requirements and offer the best value for money. l Ascertain which goods/services you could buy in collaboration with other colleges and public sector organisations based on either geographical – local, regional or national – needs or areas of specialisation. l Investigate suitable procurement ‘partners’ or framework agreements. l Draw up a collaboration agreement and set out the terms and conditions with your collaboration partner. l Decide which procurement methods will maximise efficiency and value for money for particular categories. Consider 4 e-procurement and GPCs, tenders and mini tenders. l Communicate procurement processes and methods to budget holders. Step 5 Measuring, reviewing, improving l Have the necessary competencies for procurement staff been identified? l Are procurement staff aware that NVQs and other training5 are available? l Find out what your regional procurement network offers in terms of training and knowledge sharing. l Measure the overall value for money the college is achieving from procurement. Record improvements and report them internally and externally. l Gather data on supplier performance. l Compare supplier performance using data from internal audits and benchmarking information from other colleges and organisations of a similar size. l Communicate with colleagues in your college, in institutions with which you collaborate, suppliers, consortia and the LSC FE Procurement Development Team. routemap
    • ContentsPart 1 Procurement management: the time is right 1Using this guide 3Part 2 Moving procurement up the agenda 4Step 1 A strong lead – getting the right people on board 5Find a procurement champion 7Appoint a procurement liaison officer 7Establish a procurement board 7Seek external help 8Step 2 Getting a clear picture – information gathering 9Audit and review existing practices 11Conduct a spend analysis 11Review or establish a contracts register 12Conduct a risk analysis 12Step 3 Putting structures in place – managing procurement 13Create a vision 15Set a strategy 15Establish policies 15Reduce risk 16Create a procurement network 17Step 4 Into action – taking steps to improve efficiencies 21Buy through consortia and contracting bodies 23Use framework agreements 23Join forces with others 24Make good use of benchmarking 24Procuring one-off, high value items 24HR, ICT, catering and facilities management 26Total cost of ownership 26Put procurement processes in place 26Agree procurement methods 27Step 5 Measuring, reviewing, improving 29Build knowledge and develop skills 31Monitor and evaluate progress 31Review efficiencies and value for money 31Manage suppliers 32Part 3 More information 34Consortia and contracting bodies 35Glossary of terms 36
    • Part 1 Procurement management: the time is right In 2004 the Gershon Efficiency Review proposed that colleges which manage their procurement more effectively could each save tens, scores or even hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. Indeed, the more prepared a college is to introduce procurement good practice the more it stands to save – releasing funds that could make a significant difference to front-line services. What then, in real terms, could better-managed procurement mean for your college? l It will deliver better value for money, which releases funds to invest in new facilities, attracting more learners and employers, and improving staff morale and retention. l It will reduce exposure to risk. l It will help to improve supplier performance. l It will reduce the costs (time and effort) of doing paperwork and administration. l It will help colleges to make a greater contribution towards achieving the government’s goals of upskilling the nation, as set out in the Leitch Review, and Raising Expectations: Staying in Education and Training post -16. A world leader in skills The Leitch Review World Class Skills, published in 2006, sets challenging targets for 2011 and explains the crucial role colleges are playing in the drive to make the UK a world leader in skills by 2020, while Raising Expectations: Staying in Education and Training post -16 exhorts the education sector to keep all young people engaged with education until at least the age of 18. Improving procurement efficiencies can play a major part in achieving the reforms needed to reach these goals: better front-line services lead to more motivated and skilled learners, a more competitive workforce and increasingly satisfied employers. Finding new and innovative ways of operating and managing business will be essential if the further education system is to play its part in meeting the ambitious goals set out in World Class Skills. As we move towards a more specialised and demand-led system it will be more important than ever for further education colleges and providers to maximise the resources available to them and to ensure all learners and employers have access to relevant, high quality provision that meets their needs.1 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Part 1 “The task facing colleges requires a clever balancing act between the need to think commercially when managing and developing resources, while retaining the public service ethos that has served them so well. Good procurement is not only about effectively managing resources; other considerations include sustainability, the local economy, ethical working practices and meeting legal obligations. By giving procurement the attention it deserves, colleges will be better able to fulfil their vision and meet the needs of their community.” Mark Haysom Chief Executive Officer Learning and Skills Council “In the last few years the LSC has worked very closely with the Department to establish a small dedicated team to help colleges engage with procurement and find strategic solutions to commercial imperatives. This has helped to ensure that colleges make the most of procurement-related work to achieve best value for money and channel funds into improving front-line services. Our commitment to supporting this important work remains very strong.” David Russell Director of Finance and Resources Learning and Skills Council “Good procurement helps colleges make the most of their budgets by enabling them to focus on the effective and efficient management of all their resources, not just money. It contributes to achieving strategic objectives such as supporting the local economy, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It is a way of thinking and working that helps colleges to respond to increasing demands on finite resources. It may not be a cure for all ills but it could make the difference between success and failure.” Ian Taylor Commercial Director Department of Children Schools and Families, Past President of CIPS Managing procurement to improve front-line services 2
    • Using this guide This guide is intended to help colleges set up an easy to maintain approach to procurement that will enable them to procure more effectively and achieve better value for money. It does not include a detailed explanation of procurement practices.1 Depending on how advanced your college’s procurement management is and whether you want to take small steps over time or to implement a more significant change, this booklet can be used as a routemap for making major improvements or for guidance on specific aspects of procurement management. Details of good practice, case studies and where more information can be found are included. The FELP – Further Education Library of Procurement – website is particularly useful and can be found at www.felp.ac.uk. This document draws on the work of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) FE Procurement Development Team and the recommendations outlined in the National Audit Office2 and Public Accounts Committee3 reports that were published in 2006 and 2007 respectively to help the FE sector strengthen and develop its management of procurement. Below is the outline ‘routemap’ diagram showing the various stages of procurement management, see inside the front cover for the complete version. 3 4 2 5 1 1 To find out about procurement processes, procedures and policies, go to www.felp.ac.uk 2 mproving procurement in further education colleges in England, Report by the comptroller I and auditor general, HC1632 Session 2005–2006, 25 October 2006, National Audit Office. 3  ouse of Commons, Committee of Public Accounts, Improving procurement in further education H colleges in England, Forty-first Report of Session 2006–2007, 4 October 2007.3 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Part 2 Part 2 Moving procurement up the agenda Every college needs to source and purchase a common range of goods and services such as maintenance services, utilities, IT, stationery and catering supplies. And all are faced with making commercial decisions around which services should be delivered using college staff and which should be contracted out. Each college has its own way of managing procurement – some are already using best practice methods such as consortia and e-procurement, while others are still relying on more traditional methods. While establishing a procurement management structure can require an initial investment of time and money, it can be a relatively straightforward process that builds in complexity over time. Small changes, such as directing some procurement through a consortium, can quickly deliver major benefits and cost savings. The ultimate procurement goal is to help students achieve more as they benefit from enhanced quality, services and facilities as a direct result of colleges actively managing their spending and reducing their exposure to risk. Improving procurement in Further Education Colleges in England identifies five key steps for improving procurement efficiencies: 1 A clear lead from governors and senior managers. 2 Information that will inform decisions on appropriate procurement methods. 3 Making the most of opportunities for collaboration. 4 Robust processes and good supplier management. 5 Review of the value for money of procurement. Managing procurement to improve front-line services 4
    • Getting the right people behind procurement managementis crucial. Bringing together a group of senior individualswho will provide a strong lead in procurement will helpto ensure success.Governors can also play an important role by drawingon their business experience and challenging managerson their spending and planning.5 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Step 1 A strong lead getting the right people on board Find a procurement champion Appoint a procurement liaison officer Establish a procurement board Seek external help Managing procurement to improve front-line services 6
    • Find a procurement champion Need more information? Identify a member of the senior management team such as the finance director, the To find out more about PLO job director of estates or director of resources to be the college’s procurement champion. descriptions and the NVQ in This senior manager needs to commit to taking responsibility for procurement procurement and supply chain by supporting and driving through new initiatives, as well as working closely with management visit www.felp.ac.uk employees involved in the procurement process. He or she may well represent the college externally by, for example, attending procurement network meetings. Appoint a procurement liaison officer In practice Colleges that do not have a specialist procurement member of staff will need a When David Grocock, Vice procurement liaison officer (PLO). This individual needs to be formally appointed to the Principal Finance and Business role and to be given the time to support the procurement champion, even if it is only Operations, joined Leicester one of their responsibilities. In addition to being interested in procurement and having College, one of his first moves was good influencing skills, the PLO will require the backing and support of the procurement to establish a ‘value-for-money’ champion and the senior management team. His or her duties will include: group, which he chairs. The group l Providing support to the champion. comprises the college’s major l Co-ordinating the management of procurement across the college; collecting budget holders and is responsible and organising information as necessary. for overseeing the implementation l Drawing on expert advice from in-house or external specialists. of the procurement strategy, l Developing their procurement skills and knowledge through training, NVQ which means ensuring the college accreditation and CPD. achieves value for money for every l Acting as the link between college budget holders and purchasers and the LSC pound spent. to ensure advice and guidance are correctly disseminated and that good ‘deals’ are passed on to the right people. Establish a procurement board Many colleges have a procurement board4, which can be an informal forum. The point is to establish a group of senior people who are committed to improving procurement and play a key role in developing the procurement strategy, policies, procedures and processes. The board should comprise the procurement champion, and faculty heads and senior individuals who hold substantial budgets and are responsible for areas of spend such as IT, catering and estate management. Some colleges invite representatives from colleges they collaborate with to board meetings or sub-groups. The decisions made by the board are disseminated throughout the college via a procurement network (see pages 19–20) which facilitates the free flow of information to aid future decision-making at all levels. 4 Also known as efficiency boards or value-for-money boards.7 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 1 A strong lead Seek external support The LSC has a small team of procurement professionals who work directly with colleges providing advice on how to make savings and improve efficiencies. In addition to this specific support for colleges there is a whole range of support available from bodies such as the OGC and OGCbuying.solutions, to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS). Step 1 Action points l Make procurement a priority. Governors and senior managers need to actively engage and push it up the college agenda. l Identify a procurement champion. l Appoint a procurement liaison officer. Ensure he or she has support from senior management and gains the appropriate training and skills. l Establish a procurement board comprising the procurement champion and the owners of significant budgets. l Connect with the LSC FE Procurement Development Team. Visit www.felp.ac.uk or email fecollegeprocurement@lsc.gov.uk for help and advice on a wide range of procurement and procurement-related issues. Managing procurement to improve front-line services 8
    • To finalise the procurement governance structure andstrategy it is necessary to know exactly how procurementis currently being conducted and what opportunities forimprovement exist.This will involve an information-gathering process that willinform future procurement decisions. It will also help you todecide what information will be needed for the procurementboard to monitor procurement activity effectively.9 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Step 2 Getting a clear picture information gathering Audit and review existing practices Conduct a spend analysis Review or establish a contracts register Conduct a risk analysis Managing procurement to improve front-line services 10
    • Audit and review existing practices Need more information? Auditing and reviewing existing financial regulations and procedures and processes The LSC FE Procurement related to expenditure is critical. The procurement board needs to address the following Development team published questions (FELP has more information): the Management Guide – How l Are the college’s rules governing procurement expenditure ‘fit for purpose’? to manage influenceable spend l Do existing processes and procedures encourage and support good procurement within FE colleges in 2006 to practice, such as using consortia and government procurement cards? (GPCs) help colleges conduct a spend l Do the existing processes encourage procurement staff to monitor and review what analysis. The guide can be found is being bought, spotting trends and anomalies to identify opportunities and manage at www.felp.ac.uk risks better? Conduct a spend analysis A spend analysis enables colleges to ascertain what they are buying, how much In practice they are spending with suppliers and the number of transactions being processed. “In 2006 I helped Hartpury This delivers a number of benefits: College to do a spend analysis. l It improves management information. The results motivated them to l It allows the identification of expenditure patterns as well as suppliers and prices take on a full-time procurement for basic high-volume, low-cost items such as fuel, catering and stationery. officer, especially when they l It helps colleges prioritise procurement tasks to maximise opportunities for savings realised the significance of the and efficiencies. aggregated amounts of particular commodities.” The spend analysis can be analysed in terms of ‘categories’ – a collection of related Helen Baker Head of Procurement, goods and services such as IT – and sub-categories which, in this case, would include University of West England laptops, scanners, consumables and printers. “I analysed all spending over a A spend analysis helps identify the top suppliers together with 12-month period. Then, working areas of procurement that are weak, inefficient, costly and which with the Crescent Purchasing do not conform to the agreed use of contracts. Consortium supplier list, I got quotes from three new suppliers A spend analysis involves looking at: plus the existing suppliers for the l The number and range of suppliers used. top thirty items in each budget l The number of transactions the college conducts. area. What surprised me was l Spends for individual categories and sub-categories. the extent to which some of our l Procurement methods. existing suppliers reduced their prices simply as a result of being Once the spend analysis is complete a plan for each category of spend can be placed in a genuinely competitive developed before selecting the appropriate sourcing and procurement model, such environment. It really shocked as a consortium. Analysing expenditure by type, value and procurement method them out of their complacency.” leads to a clearer understanding of how to reduce prices and transaction costs Elizabeth Smith Procurement most effectively. Liaison Officer, Leeds College of Building This information can be refined and developed on an ongoing basis to obtain the best possible quality management information. A spend analysis becomes a useful tool for managing suppliers through reviewing their performance against data provided in-house or by consortia or external benchmarks.11 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 2 Getting a clear picture If you do not feel you have the right expertise in-house, ask an external specialist to conduct the initial spend analysis for you. A number of companies offer this service, Need more information? which involves taking data from a college finance system and re-presenting it in A full list of spend categories and a format that allows it to be manipulated and analysed. For further information sub-categories can be found in on suppliers contact the LSC FE Procurement Development Team. Improving Procurement in Further Education Colleges in England, Review or establish a contracts register Appendix Five, page 36. A contracts register provides easy access to relevant contract information and can help you plan procurement activity by, for example, putting in place a new Go to www.nao.org. contract (if necessary) before the current one finishes. A contracts register includes uk/publications/nao_ the following information: reports/05-06/05061632.pdf l What the contract is for. l Contract manager’s name. l Supplier name. l Start and finish dates of the contract. l At what intervals the contract is to be reviewed. l Value of the contract (sometimes known, sometimes an estimate). Conduct a risk analysis A key priority for every college is to ensure it is exposed to as little risk as possible. A clear view of the risks and any potential consequences that could arise from procurement malpractice is essential. Financial and legal risks will almost certainly be high if: l Large numbers of untrained staff are authorised to make purchases and negotiate contracts. l Procurement processes are not compliant with EU public procurement regulations. l The college does not have an established process for dealing with contracts if, for example: procurement contracts are verbal; it does not operate an electronic purchasing order system; and  supplier relationships are based on their terms and conditions rather than those of the college. Step 2 Action points l Audit and review existing procurement processes and procedures. l Conduct a spend analysis, using an external specialist if necessary, and transform data into management information. l Identify the key risks to which the college is exposed. l Examine supplier relationships and ensure the college’s terms and conditions have been adopted. l Explore any other procurement weaknesses. l Prioritise procurement actions with ‘quick wins’ and medium and longer term plans. Managing procurement to improve front-line services 12
    • Backed by the right people and the necessary information,a procurement strategy can be formulated to ensurecompliance and mitigate risk.Simultaneously, the college procurement championcan establish a procurement network which allows fora two-way flow of information between the board andthe departmental lead buyers.13 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Step 3 Putting structures in place managing procurement Create a vision Set a strategy Establish policies Reduce risk Create a procurement network Managing procurement to improve front-line services 14
    • Create a vision Need more information? Before setting the strategy, establish the procurement vision. Is the college’s aim A template for a procurement solely to achieve value for money? Or are there broader objectives such as supporting strategy and guidance can be the local economy, developing partnerships with the local business community found at www.felp.ac.uk and contributing to the sustainability agenda? Set a strategy The procurement champion is responsible for the strategy. He or she should consult In practice with as many procurement stakeholders as possible and may want to take soundings “A review of the strategic options from other procurement champions in colleges you collaborate with to gain an idea for procurement was undertaken of the issues they face, good practice and to identify further procurement opportunities. between 2003 and 2004. This A number of elements are involved in setting a strategy: considered purchasing cards, l Drawing on the information provided by the spend analysis and determining how e-procurement, partnership with each category is best purchased. De Montfort University, consortia l Establishing policies (see below). arrangements and the use of l Establishing the procedures and processes for managing procurement activity, consultants. The review resulted including implementing thresholds that trigger the use of a particular procedure in a programme to introduce or process such as a competitive tender or GPCs (see page 27). These must purchasing cards and sanctioning also ensure that a college complies with UK and EU procurement legislation. the use of consortia.” l Ensuring finance regulations are up to date and support modern procurement David Grocock Vice Principal Finance methods, and that the college’s spend thresholds and procurement processes and Business Operations, Leicester are fit for purpose. For example: College are spend thresholds achieving what is necessary?  the approval of the procurement board required above certain thresholds? is  which purchases and values of spend should be made through a GPC?  what thresholds of spend are a full tender or a mini competition required? at Need more information?  when and for which products and services should consortia and contracting Go to www.felp.ac.uk for more bodies be used? information about the following: l Setting targets for improving procurement efficiencies. l Developing a method for measuring value for money and efficiencies against targets l  olicy information and P (see page 31 for more about the EMM). templates l Creating a sustainable and effective management information system to support l Sustainability policy guidance procedures and check compliance. l nformation on using local I l Including large scale activities that involve procurement – such as construction, suppliers refurbishment, IT replacement. l Using the contracts register to plan procurement activity. Guidance on ethical business l Ensuring the procurement board agrees the strategy. practice can be found at: www.cips.org/documents/ Establish policies Ethical_Business_Practices.pdf Procurement management in every college is driven by a single overarching policy: to achieve the best value for money while minimising risk. The following normally need to be clarified by a policy which should always be signed off by the procurement board: l Areas of responsibility for governors, the principal, the procurement champion, director of finance, procurement liaison officer, budget holders and general staff.15 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 3 Putting structures in place l Value for money, quality and service agreements, risk management. l Ethical standards such as how to deal with gifts from suppliers, taking In practice into account the CIPS code of conduct. To embed sound ethical, l Sustainability – for example, stationery and energy efficiencies. social and environmental l How and when to use small businesses and local suppliers to support policies within its procurement the local economy. function, Leicester College’s l Use and management of approved suppliers – keep your supplier base value-for-money group small and ensure new additions are carefully controlled. maintains links with the college’s l Collaboration – the who, how and when of working with colleges and sustainability group. For example, other organisations. by involving the sustainability l Supplier relationships – covering, for example, payment terms and training group in a re-tender for waste and apprenticeship arrangements. management services, Leicester l Equal opportunities – ensuring all employees are treated equally and fairly. ensured the new deal would be l Use of terms and conditions. environmentally sustainable as well as financially beneficial. Reduce risk Terms and conditions The supply of any goods or services should always be based on the college’s terms and conditions, rather than those of the supplier. If you buy through a consortium Need more information? or a framework agreement, the terms and conditions will already have been agreed. You can find templates of terms and conditions at www.felp.ac.uk in the Compliance Sample Documentation section. Public sector and EU requirements are strict and the consequences for not adhering to them can be severe. If you are buying goods and services that cannot be bought through a consortium Need more information? and whose value exceeds a certain threshold, appropriate suppliers must be invited To find out more about EU and to tender for the supply. From 1 January 2008, the threshold levels prescribed by the other financial regulations, go European Union Commission are £139,893 for supplies and services and £3,497,313 to the Good Practice section at for works. These totals refer to the total value of a contract, so if the contract lasts three www.felp.ac.uk years and is worth £139,893 over the course of those three years the EU public sector tendering rules would have to be complied with. More helpful reading can be found at: Procurement legislation must be complied with in addition to other legal requirements. www.equalityhumanrights If college suppliers are in breach of legal requirements, for example relating to age .com/en/forbusinessesand or race discrimination, the college would be found guilty as well. organisation/pages/default.aspx www.ogc.gov.uk/documents/ Social_Issues_in_Purchasing.pdf Managing procurement to improve front-line services 16
    • Create a procurement network In practice A procurement network is one of the most successful ways of managing procurement. South Nottingham College has It allows purchasing at a decentralised level where each department has its own been operating a procurement budget and a ‘lead buyer’ who is the departmental head of the network buying network for about three years. team and knowledgeable about the products and services being bought. Processes governing accountability, policy and practice are agreed by the procurement board Keith Gregory, financial and the procurement liaison officer can provide support and guidance about the right controller, identified the need procurement approach from the centre. to centralise and standardise the purchase of a range of categories Some colleges use a decentralised model when each department manages its own of spend which had previously budget; however, local interests can be put before those of the college, spend is been devolved to individual uncoordinated and too many untrained people can get involved in procurement. departments and curriculum In the centralised model heads of department have to request procurement from areas. These included: stationery, a central point; this can be bureaucratic and result in long waits, bottlenecks and IT, audio visual materials, books maverick buying. and paper. The procurement network offers the best of both worlds – the departments deliver In the area of IT, for example, results while the procurement champion and PLO provide support – ensuring the college benefits from having procurement is efficiently managed at every level. a standardised kit in every department. Savings are achieved The procurement network – benefits through economies of scale l Demonstrates a clear commitment to procurement. and a maintenance contract l Helps to ensure that a consistent procurement message is delivered. is negotiated through a single l Sends the correct messages to staff and external colleagues. supplier. l Uses specialist product/service/market knowledge to best effect. l Up-skills key buyers. The network of buyers meets l Secures ‘buy-in’ from those who purchase. every four months to share best l Avoids fragmentation and creates leverage for best value. practice and discuss a range of l Releases resources. procurement issues. l Delivers procurement management efficiencies. l Minimises risk. The procurement network – who does what The procurement champion and procurement liaison officer work together to: l Co-ordinate the network – convening meetings, agendas, actions, contracts etc. l Provide leadership, focus and coaching through training and workshops. l Provide all terms and conditions, templates and tools. l Maintain the procurement section of the intranet and communicate with network members. l Assist with all major purchases. l Disseminate management information.17 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 3 Putting structures in place And, depending on requirements, they: l Forecast demand and whether suppliers and sometimes markets, such as the construction industry, are able to meet it. l Develop the network to keep it relevant. l Run a risk management programme. l Represent the college externally. The network buyers are departmental staff with authority to place orders and contracts. A lead buyer will execute the college’s procurement strategy with regards to a specific category, and will draw on the supplier and product knowledge of other buyers. He or she is also responsible for: l Promoting good deals to the staff who place the orders. l Facilitating training – e.g. ‘how to…’, ‘why we…’, or ‘get the most from…’. l Making sure the college gets the ‘best deal’. l Managing relationships with suppliers. l Providing feedback on supplier performance. l Working with buyers in other teams. Other ways to organise a procurement network include: l By college department rather than spend category. l Through creating a hybrid model that combines departmental structures and category management techniques for significant cross-cutting categories such as ICT, catering and books. What matters is that a network of leads is established to gather and disseminate information throughout the college, working with the PLO to actively manage and co-ordinate procurement activity. Step 3 Action points l Establish the college’s procurement vision and key objectives. l Create a procurement strategy that will achieve the vision and objectives which best suit the college. l Set targets for improving procurement efficiencies. Report progress at procurement board meetings. l Set up a procurement network. l Establish the college’s position on key issues around procurement and create policies to support them. These should be signed off by the board. l Ensure all staff with authority to procure goods and services are aware of the college’s procedures and processes, and that they comply with legal requirements. l Set up and maintain a procurement site on the college’s intranet. Managing procurement to improve front-line services 18
    • A typical procurement network Procurement board Champion, Director of Estates, Director of IT, other senior, major budget holders Feedback Procedures, strategy, policies Procurement liaison officer Catering category IT category Lead buyer Lead Buyer Fresh food Laptops Sub-category Sub-category Kitchen equipment PCs Sub-category Sub-category Dried food IT consumables Sub-category Sub-category Frozen food IT perishables Sub-category Sub-category19 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 3 Putting structures in place Office category Janitorial supplies category Lead buyer Lead Buyer Office equipment Cleaning products Sub-category Sub-category Stationery Sanitary ware Sub-category Sub-category Office furniture Cleaning equipment Sub-category Sub-category Managing procurement to improve front-line services 20
    • The best way to achieve savings and to reduce thecollege’s administration is to buy through consortiaor other bodies that set up contracts with suppliers.If the right contract or framework is not in place, youcan join forces with other organisations includingcolleges, schools and universities.21 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Step 4 Into action taking steps to improve efficiencies Buy through consortia and contracting bodies Use framework agreements Join forces with others Make good use of benchmarking Procuring one-off, high value items HR, ICT, catering and facilities management Total cost of ownership Put procurement processes in place Agree procurement methods Managing procurement to improve front-line services 22
    • Buy through consortia and contracting bodies In practice Procurement consortia and other contracting bodies carry out collective purchasing “One of the main attractions on behalf of a number of different organisations. By leveraging their buying power of using the insurance framework they are able to deliver value for money, professional and cost-effective purchasing, set up by the Crescent Purchasing and support services. Consortium is that it offers automatic compliance with EU Many colleges buy from contracts that have been negotiated and are managed tendering regulations. The result of by consortia. The products and services are delivered to the college, which pays our mini competition was that we the suppliers directly. stayed with our existing supplier but managed to save 13 per cent.” By using a consortium or contracting body colleges stand to benefit from: Andrew Lefley Director of Facilities, l Better prices and quality. Peterborough Regional College. l Reduced duplication of time and effort. l Reduced transaction, administration and sourcing costs. l Access to procurement expertise. l Compliance with legislation and regulations. Need more information? l Good management information. To find out more about l Pre-agreed service and delivery conditions. procurement consortia, visit www.felp.ac.uk Using a consortium or a contracting body In terms of volume, colleges should be able to buy most of their commonly and frequently bought items through consortia. These include routine categories of spend such as IT equipment, stationery and energy, together with many less Need more information? frequently bought items, which involve significant spend exceeding EU public To find out more about existing procurement thresholds. framework agreements contact your local consortium, contracting As with any other supply source, you will need to review the consortia you use on body or OGCbuying.solutions, an a regular basis to ensure they continue to deliver value for money; the benchmarking executive agency of the Office exercises that the LSC team run will help you do this. A list of consortia and contracting of Government Commerce. bodies can be found on page 35. Use framework agreements Many consortia and contracting bodies such as OGCbuying.solutions negotiate and operate framework agreements which allow colleges to buy routine items and create contracts with suppliers within the terms of the agreement. These agreements can be used to ‘call off’ goods and services on a regular basis or as and when they are needed. The benefit is that the contract has been negotiated and pre-agreed by professionals, ready for college use. Other benefits include: l Better prices. l Flexibility – colleges are not committed to buy. l Reduced administrative costs. l Fosters long-term relationships with suppliers, leading to better service and value for money. l Legal compliance assured.23 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 4 Into action If you cannot find a framework agreement that meets the college’s requirements, collaborate with other colleges or public sector organisations to create one. Some Need more information? framework agreements use rankings that allow the top ranked supplier to be selected To find out about regional directly without a mini competition. All suppliers have to be included in the mini and national networks, email competition if the framework being used was put in place after 1 January 2006. fecollegeprocurement@lsc.gov.uk More guidance can be found on FELP. Join forces with others If a consortium is not available for specific items, find out if other colleges, schools, In practice universities or local authority offices in your area have a similar need. Collaborating Having run a waste, refuse and with other institutions can deliver major benefits: recycling tender, Mike Pearce, l Lower unit prices through ‘bulk buying’. Procurement Contracts Officer l Lower transaction costs from sharing tasks such as ordering, negotiation and from the University of Exeter, set design of specifications. up a contract that would allow l Improved quality as a result of better procurement expertise and processes. other universities and colleges l Sharing expertise and market intelligence. to participate. The result of this collaboration has been a combined Your region will have its own LSC FE team facilitated procurement network which saving for all participating allows local colleges to share information, source items jointly and establish price institutions of £1.9m over the and service benchmarks. lifetime of the two agreements. Make good use of benchmarking “The new waste management By benchmarking high value contracts against those of consortia, colleges can contract has reduced our general gauge whether they are receiving value for money and switch to the best contract spend by over 20 per cent.” if necessary. If a consortium does not offer better value, provide them with feedback John Ward Procurement Officer, so they can improve their offering. Cornwall College The LSC FE Procurement Development Team conducts a national benchmarking exercise on some of the main commodity areas of college spend. Colleges can complete templates for certain commodities and the team benchmarks this data Good practice tip against nationally recognised best value framework agreements. The results are Avoid setting up contracts and fed back to the college. competing with consortia. If you feel you can improve on Procuring one-off, high value items a consortium deal, let the LSC Colleges also procure one-off, high risk, high value items such as a new building team know so they can gain or a strategic project. This would be handled by the head of the department the benefits for all. concerned, with support from the procurement liaison officer to ensure both internal and external compliance. If your college is embarking on such a project, talk to the LSC FE Procurement Team or Need more information? raise it at the local regional procurement network meeting. It may be worth consulting To find out about the National other related establishments about either joining forces to achieve economies of scale Benchmarking exercise go to: or for advice on best practice. www.felp.ac.uk Managing procurement to improve front-line services 24
    • Advantages and potential sources of collaboration Source National Audit Office Guidance and advice Sustainability Economics of scale Operational expertise Market intelligence College Professional bodies Learning and Skills Council Schools Chartered Institute of Office of Government Purchasing and Supply Commerce Other colleges Universities Department for Children, Department of Innovation, Schools and Families Universities and Skills25 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 4 Into action HR, ICT, catering, facilities management Procurement is not just about how colleges manage buying commonly and In practice frequently required goods and services, it is relevant to all commercial decisions. “We were already using localised The decision whether to deliver a service such as HR, ICT support, catering and facilities consortia for some categories of management in-house using college staff or to contract it out is a procurement goods and were not expecting to decision that involves a procurement ‘strategic options appraisal’. see much variance between what we were paying and the CPC and A strategic options appraisal involves identifying and evaluating options that will OGC deals. To my surprise we deliver and meet the agreed specification. Once an option has been identified discovered we could make savings it may be necessary to run a tender. in six out of the eight categories we benchmarked. On our Total cost of ownership stationery contract for example The total cost of any goods or service is rarely the ‘label price’. The components we’ve managed to save 30 per of the ‘total’ cost are: cent by switching from our Local l Environmental cost. Authority deal to Lyreco. l Specification cost. l Installation cost. “Over and above the savings l Running cost (consumables, energy and maintenance). we’ve accrued we’ve also l Disposal cost. experienced less tangible benefits. The exercise has For a surprising number of purchases the ‘running costs’ can exceed all the other costs helped to raise the profile combined. Good procurement practice will help to ensure that the college takes into of procurement in the college account the total cost. Go to www.felp.ac.uk for more information. and given the finance team the confidence to challenge Put procurement processes in place departmental budget holders. Even if you are doing most procurement through consortia, you will still make some Where authorising purchase purchases direct with suppliers and need to have robust processes in place. In addition order requisitions was largely to being aware of the various regulatory requirements, including EU public sector a bureaucratic exercise, we tendering rules (see page 16), you also need to ensure college policies are followed. now have the confidence, and These will probably include: evidence, to challenge the choice l A competitive process that involves seeking three quotes and a full tender of supplier.” for all orders over a certain amount. Frank Adams Dudley College l Reviewing contracts on a regular basis. l Ensuring budget holders only purchase within the limits of their authority. l A list of approved suppliers (see Manage suppliers, page 32). Also available to colleges are online systems for managing the tendering process; more information can be found on FELP. Managing procurement to improve front-line services 26
    • Agree procurement methods In practice There are a number of different procurement methods. Each needs to be suited “We didn’t have the time or to the type, value and inherent risk of the products or services you are purchasing. the money to develop our All staff members involved in procurement should stay up to date with the uses, own e-procurement system limitations, risks and techniques of these methods. so we adopted the EGS Unity system for higher education. e-procurement The advantages are time savings, If you are currently using a system that is mainly paper-based, opting for reduced administration, no need e-procurement requires a wholesale change. This procurement method involves to re-key data and management embedding an electronic system into every stage of the purchasing process across of supplier payments. What’s a wide range of contracts. more, Unity interfaces directly with our core financial system Installing an e-procurement system does require upfront investment. However, from Symmetry. We estimate it can gradually be phased in and applied to different parts of the procurement that this system is saving us cycle such as transactional or payment processes. 10 to 15 minutes for each transaction.” e-procurement – the benefits l Improves efficiency and financial rigour – spend limits are imposed consistently Julie Grace Team leader of e-procurement, St Helen’s College. at departmental level. l Saves time – eliminates paper-based requisitions and duplicating data handling. “The hardest part [of l Faster order-to-delivery times – users know exactly where their request is in implementing an e-procurement the process. system] was getting the system l Purchasers are automatically directed to approved suppliers, improving compliance up and running, deciding on the and reducing time sourcing items. parameters, writing the manual, l Greater price leverage. liaising with department heads l Reduced costs of stationery, postage, copying and associated administration. and training designated purchase l A more environmentally friendly way to procure. order placers and authorisers – l High quality, detailed management information. but it was thoroughly worthwhile. We now have a much slicker Government procurement cards (GPCs) method of managing purchase GPCs are charge cards that authorised staff can use to make college purchases direct orders, authorisation and receipts with a supplier. They are a relatively simple and cost-effective method of procurement across the organisation. Also, we that work best for purchasing low value items, such as books or small items of have practically eliminated the equipment, where the cost of processing the transaction is disproportionate to the time spent in finance contacting cost of the item itself. staff to clear invoices or order queries, and in dealing with GPCs work much like a credit card, although the outstanding balance has to be paid supplier phone calls and issues.” in full each month. Each card has an individual transaction limit and a monthly Angie Pilgrim Purchasing, Contracts expenditure limit, and it can only be used to purchase certain categories of goods and Compliance Manager, West and services. Nottingham College GPCs – the benefits l Budget holders can order directly with suppliers, without having to raise and get approval of purchase orders. Need more information? l Strengthen expenditure controls and reduce the risk of improper purchasing To find out more about and fraud. e-procurement and introducing l Better access to online goods and services, resulting in better prices and deals. GPCs into college, go to: www. l Simplify the purchasing process and significantly reduce the number of low value, felp.ac.uk; www.purchasingcard. paper-based transactions, and the associated time and costs processing them, info/esolutions.php; resulting in better use of resources and reduced staff costs. www.barclaycardbusiness.co.uk27 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 4 Into action l Savings from reduced cheque payments and associated postage: prompt payment of suppliers, improving relationships; In practice monthly statements and better management information that can “For me, GPCs made sense. be linked to college systems, especially when supplier codes are used; Analysis of our expenditure less need for petty cash; and showed a high percentage of high provides a clear audit trail with open and transparent procedures. volume, low value transactions of the type appropriate for card Once GPCs have been rolled out it may be possible to redefine payment. There was a growing some staff roles and responsibilities as tedious, time-consuming tasks will have demand for buying over the been reduced or even eliminated. internet and I could see that GPCs were a quick win in terms National Audit Office reports have estimated that an average of reducing workload, meeting saving of £28 per transaction has been made by some central colleagues’ needs and at the government departments that switched from paper-based same time responding to the NAO report and the obligations purchasing to GPCs. 5 it was placing on the sector… Feedback has been positive with the the team reporting no operating Step 4 Action points issues and a definite time saving.” Pat Eagle Stafford College l Decide which categories and sub-categories would be suitable for procurement through consortia or another contracting body. “A quick analysis of the college’s expenditure revealed that 80 l Research the different consortia and contracting bodies and per cent of the invoices we were decide which would fit the college’s requirements and offer receiving were for less than £250. the best value for money. Hours of staff time were being l Ascertain which goods/services you could buy in collaboration wasted chasing paper around the with other colleges and public sector organisations based on organisation. It was immediately either geographical – local, regional or national – needs or areas apparent that there was a of specialisation. tremendous merit in adopting the cards. We brought Barclays l Investigate suitable procurement ‘partners’ or framework in to talk to the appropriate agreements. staff, established some internal l Draw up a collaboration agreement and set out the terms controls and then issued 15 cards and conditions with your collaboration partner. to the principal buyers across the organisation. The ease of using l Decide which procurement methods will maximise efficiency the card, particularly purchasing and value for money for particular categories. Consider over the phone and via the web, e-procurement and GPCs, tenders and mini tenders. is encouraging everyone to seek l Communicate procurement processes and methods out the best deals.” to budget holders. Keith Gregory Financial controller, South Nottingham College Good practice tip Establish a policy that ensures the procurement champion or a procurement liaison officer is always present at a supplier meeting when contracts are 5 Improving procurement in further education colleges in England, 25 October 2006, being discussed. National Audit Office, p. 18 Managing procurement to improve front-line services 28
    • Once a robust procurement strategy and processes arein place, ensuring they continue to meet your ongoingobjectives is crucial. In addition to keeping staff up to datewith new developments through training and developingtheir knowledge, the delivery of the strategy needs tobe monitored and evaluated to ensure that it is beingsuccessfully implemented, and that its objectives includingdelivering value for money are achieved.29 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Step 5 Measuring, reviewing, improving Build knowledge and develop skills Monitor and evaluate progress Review efficiencies and value for money Manage suppliers Managing procurement to improve front-line services 30
    • Build knowledge and develop skills Need more information? Effective procurement management requires constant knowledge development Assistance is available on the through training and learning best practice in areas such as negotiation, legal aspects FELP and CIPS websites. Regional of purchasing, ethics, e-sourcing, project purchasing, tools and techniques. network groups also provide colleges with an excellent This makes the procurement process sustainable and continuous, enabling colleges opportunity to learn from to constantly make greater efficiencies and savings that benefit all parties over the each other. long term. To apply for the NVQ in Supply In addition, LSC funding may be available for NVQs in Supply Chain Management Chain Management, email at a level appropriate to the applicant’s job role. This is a work-based qualification fecollegeprocurement@lsc.gov. that focuses on procurement competence, ability, knowledge and understanding. uk with the college name and Having achieved Supply Chain Management NVQ Level 4, employees can apply the candidate’s name, job title, for membership of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply. telephone number and email address. Monitor and evaluate progress Implementing a new procurement infrastructure is likely to be challenging. Progress and targets should be monitored, with the college frequently asking: l How extensively are GPCs being used? Need more information? l Are consortia contracts being used when they should be, for example for library The LSC is there to help books, insurance, and hair and beauty products? colleges apply the EMM to l Are the college’s preferred suppliers being used extensively? their procurement programme. l Is significant expenditure being committed without the procurement board’s To find out more about EMM, knowledge and support? visit www.felp.ac.uk Review efficiencies and value for money In order to increase negotiating leverage, transaction costs and value for money need to be measured and monitored on a regular basis. In practice “The electronic system works, in part, A new version of the Efficiency Measurement Model (EMM2-FE) is available from because we keep tight control over the LSC FE Procurement Development Team and can be downloaded from FELP. suppliers. We conduct regular review A Microsoft Access database, the EMM2-FE has been developed to help public sector meetings and produce reports to organisations to understand, quantify, record and report efficiency savings. Included monitor performance against KPIs with the software is guidance on how to measure efficiencies, which are classified and SLAs. These have proved very into five types: successful in both management l Price reduction. and development of the account l Added value. and bringing about continuous l Risk reduction. improvement. And [since we l Process re-engineering. implemented e-procurement] l Sustainability. we can now access management information from the system. Drawing on the Efficiency Measurement Model (EMM), we have produced the college’s first Procurement Cost and Efficiency Savings Report.” Angie Pilgrim Purchasing, Contracts and Compliance Manager, West Nottingham College31 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • 5 Measuring, reviewing, improving Colleges should also monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), for example: l On-time delivery. Need more information? l Invoice accuracy. See the CIPS ‘How to’ series l Percentage spend via consortia. at www.cips.org l Percentage spend covered by contracts. The EMM software records efficiency gains and generates reports which provide useful indicators of progress for the senior management team and the procurement board. Good practice tip Ask suppliers to provide Colleges must include information about procurement efficiency management information data in their annual college return and financial plans. For more as part of the contract. information and details see Efficiency Measurement Model, Users’ Guide, at www.felp.ac.uk In practice Manage suppliers A number of colleges were surveyed To help manage supplier performance, reduce costs and improve efficiency you should by the LSC and asked to provide work towards developing approved supplier lists. Approved supplier lists are a more details of the prices they were paying formal way of working with suppliers where they are assessed using a pre-qualification against 12 categories of goods and questionnaire (PQQ). This is typically a standard form completed by the supplier to services. The data was analysed ensure fair, open treatment and aid consistent evaluation. Information included in a and compared with the prices PQQ are company details, insurance cover, policy and procedures, summary of goods quoted in CPC and OGCbuying. and/or services and pricing. solutions framework deals. The results demonstrated the potential to The period of time you work with a particular supplier will depend on the outcomes make massive savings by switching from your information gathering and spend review; normally it is between one and locally negotiated contracts to three years. It is critical to manage the suppliers over this period to ensure you are consortia framework agreements. taking advantage of their specialist knowledge and market developments, as well Approximately 85 per cent of as working together to minimise costs and improve service. benchmarked, locally negotiated prices were bettered by consortia Compare supplier performances using internal data and benchmarking information and, on average, across all regions; from other colleges and organisations, and use this information to inform further the categories of goods and services procurement and collaboration opportunities. surveyed were shown to be 18.67 per cent cheaper when sourced through Suppliers include consortia and organisations with framework agreements. They should consortia rather than individually. be tested every now and again to ensure they continue to deliver value for money. Of the 12 categories, only two failed to show a potential saving, and the consortia used this information to re-tender the contracts for the categories concerned. At the time of publication this work had already resulted in a new contract that beat the benchmark. More information can be found at www.felp.ac.uk Managing procurement to improve front-line services 32
    • Step 5 Action points l Have the necessary competencies for procurement staff been identified? l Are procurement staff aware that NVQs and other training are available? l Find out what your regional procurement network offers in terms of training and knowledge sharing. l Measure the overall value for money the college is achieving from procurement. Record improvements and report them internally and externally. l Gather data on supplier performance. l Compare supplier performance using data from internal audits and benchmarking information from other colleges and organisations of a similar size. l Communicate with colleagues in your college, in institutions with which you collaborate, suppliers, consortia and the LSC FE Procurement Development Team.33 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Part 3 Part three More information There is plenty of information available to help push procurement up the agenda. Check out the following: l Further Education Library of Procurement (FELP) – www.felp.ac.uk l LSC Procurement Development team. Email: fecollegeprocurement@lsc.gov.uk l Association of Colleges (AoC) – www.aoc.co.uk l CIPS (Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply) – www.cips.org l Office of Government Commerce (www.ogc.gov.uk) for general, high-level guidance on matters such as efficiency, supplier relations, sustainability and e-procurement. l www.OGCbuyingsolutions.gov.uk for a variety of framework agreements as well as information on purchasing cards and e-procurement l The British Institute of Facilities Management has a database of facilities management contracts – www.bifm.org.uk l Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges – www.eauc.org.uk/home l Forum for the future – www.forumforthefuture.org.uk l Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) – www.idea.gov.uk l LSC sustainability resource – www.lsc.gov.uk/whatwedo/sustainable- development.htm l Sustainable Procurement Information Network (Spin) – the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships’ (RIEPs) sustainability resource – www.s-p-i-n.co.uk/index.asp l National Audit Office (NAO) report – www.nao.org.uk/publications/nao_ reports/05-06/05061632es.pdf l Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report – www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ cm200607/cmselect/cmpubacc/477/477.pdf Using FELP To use FELP you first need to register. This is a quick and easy process: simply go to www.felp.ac.uk and click on the link to register. Remember to tick the box marked FELP, which is one of the options available after you have filled in your name etc. Within a week you will receive a user name and password. If it does not arrive please email fecollegeprocurement@lsc.gov.uk Once you are inside FELP you will quickly notice that all content is organised into a number of books (upper left corner of the page) which you can browse for content. Alternatively you can use the search facility; when doing so we recommend that you tick the option ‘Include Document Content’ so as to get as full a response to the search as possible. Managing procurement to improve front-line services 34
    • Consortia and contracting bodies l Becta (the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency) – www.becta.org.uk l Black Country Consortium – www.blackcountryconsortium.co.uk l Central Buying Consortium – www.cbconline.org.uk l Crescent Purchasing Consortium – www.cpc.salford.ac.uk l Eduserv Chest (e-resource licences) – www.eduserv.org.uk/chest l Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation – www.espo.org l London Universities Purchasing Consortium – www.lupc.procureweb.ac.uk l North Eastern Universities Purchasing Group – www.neupg.procureweb.ac.uk l North East Purchasing Organisation – www.qtegov.com l North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium – www.nwupc.man.ac.uk l OGCbuying.solutions – online.ogcbuyingsolutions.gov.uk/ l Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium – supc.procureweb.ac.uk/home.jsp l The Energy Consortium – www.energyconsortium.org.uk/ l West Mercia Supplies – www.westmerciasupplies.co.uk/ l Yorkshire Purchasing Consortia – www.ypo.co.uk35 Managing procurement to improve front-line services
    • Part 3 Glossary of terms Benchmarking LSC A standard against which things – such Learning and Skills Council. as price or service standards – can be measured. Network buyer Responsible for a sub-category of spend. Category of spend A group of related items, such as IT. Procurement board A group of senior people committed Category to improving procurement within A group of items. the college. Consortium Procurement champion Carries out collective purchasing A member of the senior management on behalf of a number of different team who takes responsibility for organisations. procurement by supporting and driving through new initiatives. Contracting bodies Similar to consortia, third parties Procurement liaison officer (PLO) purchasing on behalf of others. A member of staff who manages the day-to-day coordination of procurement CPD across the college. Continuing Professional Development. Procurement network Efficiency Measurement Model (EMM) Allows for the two-way flow of A Microsoft Access database that helps information between the board and public sector organisations to understand, departments, as well as facilitating quantify, record and report efficiency purchasing at a decentralised level. savings. SLA Framework agreement Service Level Agreement. An agreement that allows colleges to buy routine items and create contracts Spend analysis with suppliers within the terms of the Enables colleges to ascertain what they agreement. are buying, how much they are spending and the number of transactions being Government Purchasing Cards (GPCs) processed. Government Purchasing Cards. Sub-category Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Sub-category: a sub-category (e.g. PCs) Key Performance Indicator. of a main category of spend (IT). Lead buyer In charge of a category of spend. Managing procurement to improve front-line services 36
    • Learning and Skills CouncilNational OfficeCheylesmore HouseQuinton RoadCoventryCV1 2WTT 0845 019 4170F 024 7682 3675www.lsc.gov.ukF urther Education Library of Procurementwww.felp.ac.ukfecollegeprocurement@lsc.gov.uk© LSC June 2008Published by the Learning and Skills CouncilExtracts from this publication may bereproduced for non-commercial educationalor training purposes on condition that thesource is acknowledged and the findingsare not misrepresented.This publication is available in electronic formon the Learning and Skills Council website:www.lsc.gov.ukIf you require this publication in analternative format or language, pleasecontact the LSC Help Desk: 0870 900 6800Publication reference: LSC-P-NAT-080104Printed on FSC certified paper stock