If anyone is interested, here are the guidance notes for producing an Alternative Procurement Business Case (attached). Shame it took a FoI request and 22 days' wait to get them, but that's typical of this scheme I suppose.
Thank you for your email of 26 February 2009, requesting information
under the terms of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000, for
documentation and guidance on producing an Alternative Procurement
Business Case (APBC) for ICT services as part of the Building Schools
for the Future (BSF) Programme.
You have requested all the documentation and guidance (or links directly
to it) which would be provided to a school when producing an APBC for
ICT services as opposed to taking on their Local Education Partnership's
(LEP) proposed ICT managed service.
You have also requested any supporting documents which would need to be
supplied by the school when submitting the APBC, as well as any other
requirements, such as fixed deadlines for submitting the documentation.
The Department's response is as follows.
I attach the BSF - ICT Alternative Procurement Business Case template.
This must be completed where a school wishes to opt out of the managed
service, as set out by the Local Authority for their BSF programme, and
triggers the requirement for an APBC.
Guidance for schools for producing an APBC for ICT. This sets out the
process for BSF - ICT APBC which will help to ensure that there are not
different levels or incompatible ICT provision across schools in the
authority, and that ICT is employed effectively to transform teaching
ICT Output Specification. This sets out the key criteria that should be
used to inform the design and development of the BSF ICT provision. The
specification is divided into four main sections. Section 1 -Design and
Installation Requirements, Section 2 - Transition and Implementation
Requirements Section 3 - Operational Requirements and Section 4 -
Financial and Management
Timescales and Adjudication: The school has 42 days (six weeks), from
the date on which it receives the APBC documentation, to prepare and
submit the business case and appendices. Further details and the process
of submission are outlined in the guidance.
I hope you find this response useful. If you have any queries about this
letter, please do not hesitate to contact me quoting the reference
number below in any future communications.
SCHOOLS CAPITAL DIVISION
Department for Children, Schools and Families
So there you have it. If your school is looking to make a start you should at least have a little more than the ridiculous 42 day deadline to put something together. Obviously I have seen the likes of Villiers in Ealing and Notre Dame in Sheffield getting turned down despite having excellent ICT in place and a very clear vision so I am not particularly hopeful, but I hope it at least levels the playing field a smidgen.
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