08 May 2008 | Jake Kanter
The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme is set to overhaul its procurement procedures in a bid to save £250 million.
The changes will see purchasing times reduced from 82 weeks to 75 and the introduction of more comprehensive bidder pre-qualification. Also, two leading suppliers will be selected after 29 weeks rather than 44 and there will be greater focus on building partnerships with vendors.
Following a review by stakeholders such as local authorities, contractors and industry groups (Web news, 8 February), Jim Knight, minister for schools, gave proposals the green light.
Knight said improving BSF buying procedures would help deliver new education centres on time and on budget.
Tim Byles, chief executive of Partnerships for Schools, the organisation responsible for delivering the BSF project, explained the changes will "maintain and improve competition across the programme".