Letter: PC purchasing

August 10, 2001

The total anticipated spending of the three university purchasing consortia associated with the tender process for a joint desktop-computers agreement has been estimated at £60 million per annum (Enterprise, THES , July 20).

The minimum turnover figure of £50 million for companies we considered was based on an assessment of the commercial capacity any future supplier needed if it were to meet our agreement terms.

The limit was set at a higher level than others have set in order to promote not decrease competition. This was an independent decision. We do not dispute Dan Technology's commercial accreditation to sell computers in the education sector.

The tender process was carried out in accordance with the European Procurement Public Sector Directives. One of their main purposes is to create free trade between countries and to ensure that tenders are awarded in a fair and transparent manner.

These directives, which have been incorporated into English law, explicitly do not allow buyers to favour suppliers on the basis of location.

The aim of our agreement was to achieve a least overall cost solution to the acquisition of personal computers. We have achieved this by consensus and spend aggregation in a fair, objective and transparent manner.

Dan Technology was one of five UK suppliers who previously held the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium agreement for PCs. During the past financial year, Dan accounted for less than 10 per cent of SUPC members' expenditure on PCs.

The way forward for Dan Technology is to positively develop commercial relationships in the future rather than continuing to raise issues that have been addressed from the outset of our exercise in developing this agreement.

Susan Wright
Regional purchasing coordinator
University of Reading

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