23 November 2005 | Rebecca Ellinor
The establishment of a new body to manage education procurement is to target seven areas of spend.
The Centre for Procurement Performance (CPP) plans to help organisations across the education sector make savings in ICT, Microsoft licences, professional services, improving supply chain efficiency, temporary staff, transport and waste management.
Experts from each area of spend will examine what deals already exist, and identify barriers to collaborative procurement and ways to overcome them.
The Department for Education and Skills created the centre to help existing education purchasing bodies work together to meet the Gershon Review target of 2.5 per cent a year.
Ian Taylor, CPP director, was appointed earlier this year but the centre has only been up and running for about two months.
The decision on which areas of spend to initially examine was reached at a strategic sourcing summit in Solihull, West Midlands this month. The summit also witnessed a commitment from higher and further education purchasing consortia to work together.
Paul Tomany, managing director of the North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium - one of four regional bodies working together as members of the English National Purchasing Consortium - and Peter Brewer, of Cresent Purchasing Consortium, an association of 170 colleges, issued a joint statement:
"There are many areas where further and higher education can obtain better value for money by working together and share not just joint contracts but supply market intelligence, training initiatives and contract management experience."
They said they expect the first real cost savings from cross-sector contract collaboration to be achieved through this alliance.
Melinda Johnson, deputy director for higher and further education at CPP, said she was "thrilled" by the move.
Taylor sets out education plan