The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Education Procurement Service (EPS) were delighted to host over 70 key stakeholders at the 3rd annual Higher Education Procurement Summit in the Clock Tower Building, Department of Education & Skills on the 9th of May.

The theme of this year’s summit was “Planning for Success: Compliance and Adding Value” as well as reiteration of the importance of the Corporate Procurement Plan and the Multi-Annual Procurement Plan.

Speakers on the day included

  • Joe McHugh, Minister for Education & Skills
  • Philip Gurnett, EPS Director & Head of Sourcing Education
  • Paul O’Toole, Interim CEO, HEA
  • Mary Rose Cremin, Director, Audit & Assurance, Deloitte
  • Denise O’Malley, Corporate Services Manager, EPS
  • David Mangan, Portfolio Manager, EPS
  • Neil McCarthy, Lab Category Manager, EPS
  • Eleanor Stokes, Key Account Manager, OGP
  • Bridget Keenan, Category Manager, EPS
  • Jim Dean, Head of Policy, OGP
  • Declan McCormack, eInvoicing Programme Manager, OGP

Minister for Education Joe McHugh provided the keynote address emphasising the importance of procurement in the public sector especially in relation to ensuring value for money which is in the best interest of the taxpayer.

Some key points highlighted on the day included

  • The importance of implementing and developing the Corporate Procurement Plan within each institution and also collating the necessary expenditure data for the Multi-Annual Procurement Plan (MAPP) in a timely manner in advance of the November 1st 2019 deadline & annually thereafter.
  • Effective procurement ensures compliance, transparency and value for money for the taxpayer.
  • The importance of planning ahead in public procurement, forecasting future and emerging trends to enable better outcomes.
  • The importance of the Multi-Annual Procurement Plan (MAPP) in the Education Sector as the foundation on which planning is built and the roadmap to ensure future success.
  • The need to socialise effective procurement through training policies and procedures.
  • The ongoing work of the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) to equip SMEs nationwide to avail of tender opportunities for the public sector.

Overall it was a very informative and successful summit which provided an opportunity to reflect on the successful collaboration between EPS, HEA & Higher Education stakeholders.

It emphasised the importance of planning for the future, to ensure better outcomes through compliance & added value as well as consideration of social and environmental factors to help promote sustainability.