last updated: 2nd March 2015

The UK Further Education sector annual budget is over £6.4 billion of which some £1.6 billion is spent on non-pay expenditure. An institution's responsibilities for the management of these funds are set out in the Funding Councils' Financial Memorandum. While the wording varies between the Funding Councils, in essence the head of an institution ie the Principal is responsible and accountable to the Funding Council (and ultimately to Government) for the use of the funds. The  Principal, needs to satisfy the Funding Council that the conditions of the Financial Memorandum are complied with and he/she may be required to appear before the Public Accounts Committee alongside the Chief Executive of the Funding Council on matters relating to grants made to the institution.

These responsibilities place a duty on an institution's Principal, to ensure that the procurement of goods, services and works is managed appropriately. The institution's actions should be able to demonstrate value for money as well as an open, transparent, non-discriminatory approach to the award of its contracts.

Managing procurement to improve front-line services is a new publication from the LSC produced to enable colleges set up an easy to maintain approach to procurement. It will help you to procure more effectively and achieve better value for money. Depending on how advanced your college’s procurement management is and whether you want to take small steps over time or to implement a more significant change, this booklet can be used as a routemap for making major improvements or for guidance on specific aspects of procurement management. It is recommended reading for anyone involved in or with an interest in college procurement.

A Procurement Guide for FE Colleges titled "Management Guide - How to manage influenceable spend within FE colleges" is designed to give a basic understanding of best procurement practice for the Further Education, (FE) college sector, and is intended to be a supplement to any guidance given locally through, for example, the Financial Memorandum of colleges.

NB: References to the LSC Procurement Development Team contained within the publications are now out of date.  Support and guidance for procurement can be obtained from Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC) Helpline on 0161 295 5599.


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