Professional & Compliant Public Sector Procurement


Education Procurement Sector Centre of Excellence

Procurement Leader 2020

We are delighted to announce that Philip Gurnett, EPS Director & Head of Sourcing Education, received the Procurement Leader 2020 award at the National Procurement Awards ceremony (digitally-formatted) on 16th December, 2020.

Philip has a successful track record of achievement as a leader and senior manager in the public and private sector spanning three decades, demonstrating the necessary vision, knowledge, expertise and resource management skills to align strategy, drive improvement and influence performance.

Philip successfully positioned the Education Procurement Service (EPS) as the Department of Education (DoE) sector sourcing hub under the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) model.  In 2013 he was appointed to the OGP executive as Head of Sourcing Education with responsibility for implementing and operating the centralised procurement model and he is responsible for sourcing education procurement spend of approx. €900m per annum.

As Director of the EPS, he has established and developed a business model and change management strategy to on-board the model and has delivered savings of over €20m to date. Through his strong leadership and change management, he created a national shared service where he oversaw the centralisation and transfer of education sector procurement tendering functions to one shared office, including the recruitment and the development of staff and the design and implementation of new systems of administration and finance. Key to his success is his ability to form trusted relationships with the senior accounting officer groups of the University, IoT and ETB partners.

Philip’s visionary leadership was the driving force behind the establishment of the EPS.  Working with the Department of Education in driving the shared services plan in the sector, Philip has forged close working relationships across the complexity of representative bodies including the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Irish Universities Association (IUA), Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) and Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI)

National Procurement Award Winner 2020

Video link to the Best Procurement Internal Collaboration Project of the Year award

Well done to the EPS team on winning the Best Procurement Internal Collaboration Project of the Year award.  This was a fantastic win, not only for the team and our partners in the Department of Education and Higher Education Authority but all the Higher Education Institutions and ETBs who have engaged fully with us in the rollout of the Multi Annual Procurement Planning (MAPP) forecasting model and whom EPS are delighted to share such a significant award and recognition for the success of this collaborative sector initiative.

The forecasting model has allowed EPS to collect, aggregate and analyse spend data from across the sector bodies through the MAPP programme of work which is central to the planning process for procurement in the education sector.   We look forward to progressing and extending the work to date across the sector into the future, in collaboration with all our partners.  EPS recognises that achieving buy-in and valuing the importance of contribution from its multiple stakeholders are essential factors to the future development and continued success of leading best practice education procurement initiatives in the public sector.  We would like to extend our sincere thanks to the cooperation and engagement extended from our colleagues at the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) in meeting with EPS to review the detailed MAPP Category Reports and working with us and representative subject matter experts in the education sector by incorporating the spend data and information contained in the MAPP reports into the design and planning process for future drawdown under cover of national frameworks and arrangements.

“Excellence in Business Award”

The Education Procurement Service (EPS) has been announced as the 2020 winner of the “Excellence in Business Award” in this year’s awards edition of the Public Sector Magazine.  EPS Director & Head of Sourcing Education, Philip Gurnett, was delighted to receive this award on behalf of EPS.

The Public Sector Magazine is a prestigious publication, which is distributed to, all departments in the public sector, semi-state bodies and civil service. The circulation is 175,000 copies and there is an online version circulated to all public servants of 326,000.

Each year the Public Sector Magazine invites key public sector companies to nominate organisations and individuals who demonstrate excellence in their field.

Nominees are judged by a panel of experts drawn from previous award winners and representatives from a diversity of sectors who discuss and select the recipients for each award. The top three scoring nominations in each category are shortlisted with the highest scoring nomination as the winner.

The award winner’s edition of the magazine acknowledges and highlights those organisations, companies and individuals that exemplify the best in supplying services to the Public Sector.  Full article is available to download: Public Sector Awards Magazine

Are you Brexit Ready?

The UK has always been a very strong trading partner for Ireland and Brexit will have a severe impact on Irish businesses operations. The UK is Ireland’s largest source of imported goods, and second largest export market. Ireland is the UK’s fifth largest export market and the ninth largest source of our imported goods.

EPS want to ensure that our customers will continue to get the service they are accustomed to, and we will be reaching out to our supplier base over the coming weeks to understand their position in terms of managing Brexit.

EPS is currently liaising with our Framework suppliers to update where they are in their Brexit preparation under the following areas:

  • Risk of potential logistic delays
  • Continuity of supply strategy
  • Guaranteeing continuity of product supply for the long and short term
  • Details of dedicated Irish stock locations
  • Supplying shipments from both the UK and alternative locations (Europe, Asia etc.)
  • Customer input required regarding stock-holding levels/turnaround to plan and optimise material/product held in various facilities
  • Anticipated increase in orders, order limits and greater demand for safety stock purchasing.
  • How to confirm forecast requirements with supplier Account Managers

EPS has written to all our Framework suppliers to ascertain what practical steps and innovative solutions they are adopting to help guarantee supply to our customer base as we approach year-end. EPS is also appointing a Brexit point-of-contact in their Buying team as we anticipate this project will require our attention well into next year.

For further information, there are many supports available through the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, Intertrade Ireland and Skillnet Ireland to help businesses examine their Brexit exposure.

Other useful resources can be found at the following:







Who We Are

The Education Procurement Service (EPS) is the Department of Educations (DoE) sector sourcing hub and operates as a shared service for the DoE, its agencies, the schools sector, Education and Training Boards and the Higher Education Sector.

EPS is one of the four sector specific procurement functions comprising Education, Health, Defence and Local Government. They operate together with the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) under the national procurement model as part of the Government’s Public Service Reform agenda.

Read More

What we do

We offer a professional compliant sourcing service for goods and services on behalf of the education sector.

EPS News

EPS Newsletter Issue 6 August 2021
Read more
National Procurement Awards 2020
Read more
EPS Newsletter Issue 4 December 2020
Read more
Best Green Procurement Project 2019 Awarded to EPS
Read more
EPS Award Winning Collaboration with the University of Limerick
Read more
EPS Newsletter Issue 1
Read more
Higher Education Procurement Summit 2019
Read more
EPS Laboratory / Supplier Morning
Read more
EPS Laboratory Supplier Briefing – 14th March, 2019
Read more