Resellers seek answers over BECTA framework uncertainty


Resellers seek answers over BECTA framework uncertainty

Microscope contributor

Resellers are scrambling about for information on the forthcoming ICT Services education framework due to kick off in August, in light of the Government's decision to close procurement organiser BECTA.

This morning, the Con-Lib coalition announced plan to kill off BECTA as part of efforts to slash public sector spending on IT, suppliers and related property by £2bn. 

The decision throws into question the current tender process, with suppliers having gone through the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire process preparing to respond to the final tender document due next month.

"It is a very uncertain time for everyone as most of our business is in education and the public sector," said European Electronique chief executive Yolanta Gill.

Due to kick off in a couple of months, the multi-year ICT Services framework - an amalgamation of the separate IT products and services agreements that are about to expire - has two Lots; Individual schools and Federation Academies.

Gill said responding to the complex technical tender document was "time consuming and expensive".

Education specialist RM does not expect to get clarity on the situation for four to five weeks, said Phil Hemmings, director of corporate affairs.

"Clearly we don't want to spend very much time on a tender until we understand what the future of that particular procurement will be," he told MicroScope.

Set up in 1998, BECTA has been at the centre of ICT procurement in schools and Hemmings said "it should be congratulated for that".  

Distributor Bell Microproducts believed the Government's decision would create long term uncertainty.

However, Ed Callacher, divisional director of networking and security said that "as long as the solutions that resellers provide can be proven to be cost effective, it might not be that bad."

A BECTA spokeswoman was unable to provide any detail on the future of the framework it was still digesting this morning's developments.

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