GMB concerned schools awarding contracts without following procurement rules
GMB concerned that schools awarding contracts without following procurement rulesIf this is right this raises serious concerns, as it could be perceived that it’s not what you know but who you know says GMB London
GMB, the trade union for school meal workers, have concerns that some LEA schools may be awarding contracts for new providers without following a due process of procurement as required by the Local Authority and legislation.
GMB are concerned that there may be instances where schools are now engaging contractors they previously appointed without going through a transparent and due process as consultants, with the view to them running the service provision to get around the procurement process.
To ascertain how widespread the practice has been of LEA schools awarding contracts for school meals without following due process, GMB will be sending Freedom of Information Requests to a number of Local Authorities in West London.
Keith Williams, GMB Senior Organiser said:
"We have recently challenged one particular school in the London Borough of Hounslow, as concerns were bought to our attention by GMB members working in the kitchen regarding the company the school had advised staff they had awarded the contract to for their schools meals provision.
“If this is right this raises serious concerns, as it could be perceived that it’s not what you know but who you know.
“GMB wrote to the School advising, that as their school meals service provision is a contract in excess of £10,000, any school who is considering changing their provider must go through a due process of procurement which would involve a tendering process in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Public Contracts Regulations. The Regulations of which clearly state that the tendering of school meals in an Educational Establishment must be advertised by publishing an advert in the European Journal (OJEU)
“Following GMB raising these concerns, the council also wrote to all LEA schools, reminding them that it is important that they follow due process, commissioning and procurement rules, in particular equality of treatment and transparency.”
Contact: Keith Williams on 07710 631339