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August 2006/33a (web only)
Policy development
Consultation

Comments should be sent to HEFCE by Friday 27 October 2006


Procurement in higher education - a time of change

Consultation

This document seeks views on the development and strategic management of procurement in the higher education sector. It can also be used by institutions as a checklist of good practice. It has been developed by Proc HE, the sector procurement body, in consultation with representatives from universities and colleges.

A related document, HEFCE 2006/33, summarises the issues for senior managers.

Analysis of responses to the consultation (February 2007)


To: Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Of interest to those responsible for: Strategic planning, Finance, Procurement
Reference: 2006/33a
Publication date: August 2006
Enquiries to: Stephen Butcher
tel 0117 931 7425
e-mail s.butcher@hefce.ac.uk

Executive summary and table of contents (read on-line)


Download

Consultation and Annex A Good practice checklist

[ MS Word 440K | Zipped Word 353K | Adobe PDF 120K | Zipped PDF 275K ]

Annex B Response form

[ MS Word 66K | Zipped Word 28K | Adobe PDF 9K | Zipped PDF 17K ]


Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Summary of issues for senior managers

Procurement in higher education - a time of change

  • Background
  • A vision for procurement in higher education
  • Transforming procurement
  •    Accountability and governance
    • Lead institutional responsibility for procurement
    • Structure and organisation
    • Authority to procure
    • Financial regulations, procurement policies and procedures
    • Governance principles
    • Risk management and value for money
  •    Procurement leadership
  •    People and skills
  •    Extending the involvement of procurement expertise
    • Complex areas of procurement
    • Project management
    • Areas of major capital spend
  •    Procurement practices and business processes
    • Minimum standards
    • Information reporting
    • Efficiency and key performance indicators
    • Benchmarking
    • Advanced procurement
  •    Procurement information systems
  •    Collaborative and co-ordinated procurement
    • Shared and outsourced services
    • Managing supplier relationships and contracts
    • Links with other procurement organisations
  • Conclusions

Annexes

  • Annex A:   Good practice checklist: activities that would characterise an advanced procurement process at work
  • Annex B:   Issues for consultation and response form (separate download)

Executive summary

Purpose

1.   This document invites comments on and proposals for the development and strategic management of procurement in the higher education sector. It has been developed by Proc-HE, the sector procurement body, in consultation with representatives from universities and colleges.

2.   A summary of the issues for senior managers is available in hard copy and on the web (HEFCE 2006/33), and is included here for completeness (paragraphs 8-38). This web-only document expands on those issues, and can be used as a checklist of good practice for institutions. Good practice points are included throughout the main text, and summarised in Annex A.

Key points

3.   Better procurement has the potential to deliver significant efficiencies, releasing resources for institutions to use for their core activities of teaching and research.

4.   There have been many developments in procurement over the last decade. They include increased professionalism and skills of staff, more use of new technology, more collaboration, and a greater variety of contractual arrangements.

5.   There is now an opportunity for the sector to move to a more inclusive model of procurement in which it is recognised as a key business process for institutions, and is based on strategic, collaborative processes and knowledge-sharing for the benefit of all.

6.   This document suggests that improvements will only be possible if individual institutions take a positive strategic approach, and the sector collectively takes a more active role in promoting and managing procurement.

Action required

7.   We invite institutions and other stakeholders to comment on and make proposals for the development and strategic management of procurement in the higher education sector, using the response form at Annex B. Responses should be e-mailed to procurement@hefce.ac.uk by Friday 27 October 2006.