09 June 2005 | Liam O'Brien
The Southern Universities' Purchasing Consortium (SUPC) is seeking bidders for a major £50 million contract for temporary agency staff.
The SUPC, which recently took on seven members from the disbanded Midlands' Universities Purchasing Consortium, hopes to award the contract by August.
The deal will cover administrative and secretarial staff, IT specialists, manual workers and accountancy staff. For many other roles, the contract is open to the 54-member London Universities' Purchasing Consortium.
Susan Wright, regional purchasing co-ordinator at the SUPC, said until now, agency workers have been contracted by each institution.
Wright added that a consortium-wide contract should allow major savings, but she would not speculate on how much.
However, last year the SUPC "achieved almost £11 million of savings from contracts worth just over £100 million," she said.
The new contracts, which should be in place by the end of the summer, will take the value of contracts handled by SUPC to almost £200 million.
The SUPC is also considering contracts for water coolers and e-books for its 46 higher education institutions and 25 colleges of further education.
The SUPC is also due to instal an e-tendering facility at its Reading headquarters in the near future.