The government bid to replace the BECTA framework for educational IT procurement has taken a step forward this week as tender documents are made available to suppliers.
Working with the Department for Education (DfE) and Education Funding Agency (EFA), the Crown Commercial Service is exploring options to replace BECTA, established in 2010, which was due to expire this month.
The BECTA agreement was put in place by a quango (British Educational Communications and Technology Agency), which was abolished in 2010 shortly after the agreement came into place which was then passed across to the DfE to manage.
The new agreement will allow customers to obtain ICT services tailored to specific educational need across a wide range of educational establishments such as local authorities, regional broadband consortia, maintained schools, free schools, academies and FE colleges.
The contract notice describes a framework service of not more than 20 suppliers working together to supply the full range of ICT services, products and solutions including the ability to design, specify, test, install and support; suppliers are expected to be able to manage these capabilities in both new and legacy environments.
The tender states that: “ICT solutions can include but not be limited to Hardware; Software; Networks (routers, switching, cabling, local area network infrastructures etc.); Peripheral equipment (printers, peripherals to support specialist curriculum provision.); AV equipment); user devices (desktop computers, tablets, high specification devices); Mobile connectivity (as an integrated package within user devices).”
It also states that fixed line broadband connectivity is not within scope as it is expected that prospective customers will provision broadband connectivity separately via specialist providers.
The tenders are expected to be completed and submitted during December and appointments to be made by 18th March for the agreement to be in place by the end of the financial year.