17 January 2007 | Paul Snell
A small software supplier is challenging a framework agreement set up by the British Educational Communications and Technology Alliance (Becta), arguing that it has broken procurement rules.
Alpha Learning has written to EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes claiming that a "significant number" of successful tenders for Becta's learning platform framework failed to meet the criteria outlined by the OJEU notice.
In the letter, Crispin Weston, managing director of Alpha Learning, said that several of the 10 companies that won a place on the framework did not meet technical demands specified in the contract.
He claimed that Becta did not evaluate those technical issues when considering the bids. According to Weston, this contravenes "the core principles of OJEU regulations".
Weston told supplymanagement.com that he had taken advice from lawyers at the OGC before launching the challenge. Yet he also said that he didn't know his letter had been sent within the 10-day period allowed for challenges.
A spokesman for Becta declined to comment on the letter, although he said the organisation had contacted Alpha Learning to discuss the challenge.
* Becta has also published its interim report into the value for money achieved by schools and colleges from licensing Microsoft software. The report recommends that Microsoft should improve the choice of licensing agreements and make the cost of these agreements clearer.