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Further Education: Procurement

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 24 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the £75 million potential savings identified by the National Audit Office in its report on Improving procurement in further education colleges in England, HC 1632, Session 2005-06, have been realised. (322221)

As part of Spending Review 2004, a £75 million efficiency target was set for the further education sector to be realised through improved procurement practices within colleges. A procurement efficiency programme was established at the Learning and Skills Council, and since its inception, has successfully raised the status of procurement in the sector.

The NAO report ‘Improving procurement in further education colleges in England’ was published in October 2006, and confirmed the potential within the sector to realise significant procurement efficiencies.

The programme has successfully facilitated and supported a culture which encourages colleges to make good procurement decisions. This has included introduction of procurement solutions where none had previously existed, the removal and/or mitigation of barriers to good procurement behaviour and the establishment of supporting systems and structures.

In the spending period 2005-06 to 2007-08, the programme realised savings of £72.7 million.