Loophole in NCTE Procurement?

The CESI mailing list is a great source of information.  All this snow is keeping us inside so I’m getting loads of information.  Today a contributor informed us of a potential way of supporting local business by working around the purchasing framework.  I’ll paste a response he got from the ICT Policy Unit in the Department of Education.

“It is a condition of the grant scheme that schools use the ICT
Purchasing Frameworks where available for the purchase of equipment under this grant scheme. You can however, as a separate exercise, request a quote from your local supplier for the same products (do not use the Framework template for the other supplier as it is not part of the framework). It is important, however, that the quote requested is for identical equipment and servcies as to the one issued to those suppliers under the framework.

Should you have any further queries please contact the ICT Policy Unit at 01-8896413”

To me that looks like if we find a product on the framework for an equal or lower price locally, we can buy it locally.  This is good news.  I’d love to hear of any successes on this.

0 thoughts on “Loophole in NCTE Procurement?”

  1. That you for this help as it did not make sense in a school with so many computers to start buying from a new retailer and mix and match maintenance.What is the story with the wireless keyboard and mouse requirements?
    What guidelines are there for purchase of these?

  2. Not 100% sure but I think you have to send an email to the procurement email address stating what you need. Companies will get back to you with quotes and I think you have to choose one of these.

    My advice, since these items are quite cheap, is to buy them out of school funds from Lidl or Aldi.

  3. Procurement guidelines are mandatory for purchases over a certain value, €5000. The frameworks are a long overdue help and guide and should be used, but if you can get a better deal for spec., quality and price you can take it.
    The NCTE desire is for value for money.
    The standard wireless mouse/keyboard is useless in class, they are short range, often less than 6ft. A 2.4ghz or bluetooth product can work upto 30ft. If the pc is anywhere near the middle of the longest wall you should be covered. A short usb extension to raise the transmitter above metal or concrete improves the range.
    Windows comes with a built-in virtual keyboard start – run – osk.
    Ok for occasional short keyboard input.
    Both microsoft and logitec make 2.4ghz mice, they are very cagey about range but I have used both makes in class and lecture rooms.
    Wacom do a bluetooth graphics tablet, which gives you mouse functions and is superb if you do art or graphics.

    Look at this product range, up to 100ft. they do a keyboard as well as a mouse

    • Yes, €5,000. However, in this case we have to go through a procurement procedure for a wireless keyboard and mouse – certainly not €5,000 worth. I also feel it’s unfair that only certain companies are allowed to take part in procurement. I’d also disagree that all of ALDI and LIDL’s wirelss technology is too short in range, though sometimes it certainly is. I guess you have to check these things out.

      • You do not need framework or procurement procedures for even items of a few hundred Euro, only normal good vale shopping and record keeping. If you see a recognised pc/laptop/anything, going for what you know and can show is a bargin price, ring whoever is in charge in your school, and buy it.

        There are only a few mice/keyboards which will work at 20-30ft, irrespective of manufacturer.

        For small value items you only need to buy and keep records.
        Medium value, verbal quotes are ok, and keep records.
        When you are in the €5000 and up you need written competitive quotes, and keep records, which would be good practice anyway.
        The procurement framework is a guideline which should benefit most people and give a guide as to max. price and min. spec. You can get a quote from any company you like, local or National – as long as the spec. is equal to or above that in the framework.

        details of the EU requirements here:

        Guidelines and Directives
        The Public Procurement guidelines are available on the National Public Procurement portal
        http://www.etenders.gov.ie (under Procurement Guidelines) and on the Department of Finance website
        http://www.gov.ie/finance under Publications. General
        information on EU public procurement issues is also available on this website.

        • Are you sure Damien? Under the NCTE procurement procedures, I was under the impression that we had to buy EVERYTHING through this. There is no item on the NCTE list that costs anything near €5,000.

          • The procurement is for total amount not for individual items.

            The procurement procedures are EU directives, if there is a framework it should be used – whoever supplies the money can make the rules. You can get your own local quotes as long as they are comparative, you keep the records and can prove value for money.
            Items not on the framework follow normal procedure, small items, buy and keep receipts, large items shop around, get quotes, verbal or written depending on the amount.
            Once you have a suitable teaching computer and projector you can use remaining grant for other items.

          • Thanks for that Damien. I guess there’s no more that one can do so. The projector procurements have been released today so that’s another item that we’ll have to spend bigger bucks on! Nice to chat to you.

  4. Good starting point, there should be a new model available in Ireland in the next few weeks, I will post details when I get them. I felt that part of the point of short throw was to wall mount, easier and more stable.
    I used a telescopic boom on the ones I fitted, makes it easy to adjust for new boards!
    The frameworks will be updated in a few months so other suppliers can join in if they want to.

  5. Good afternoon Gentlemen, Just a quick note on the Wireless Keyboard & Mouse. We have become the first Irish reseller of the Gyration range of products, these are the ones referred to as being capable of a range over 30 m. The product is due here late this week, early next, and the pricing will be posted on the site by the end of the week. If you need any help or further info, just drop me a line. Regards Leo

  6. If I am to request a quote locally [outside of the framework] how can I do so without specifying makes/models of laptops?

    My purpose in doing this is to see if the models quoted by the framework, can be gotten cheaper locally.

    Also, I presume there is no need for a separate keyboard with laptops is there?

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