RICHMOND - Public post-secondary institutions have signed contracts that will help realize significant financial savings and administrative efficiencies for the sector through collaboration and shared procurement, announced Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson while attending a meeting with BC Colleges today.
“Joint procurement offers post-secondary institutions a unique way to create new and efficient ways to run their operations,” said Wilkinson. “The public post-secondary sector is saving costs and enhancing the quality of services throughout the province by working together.”
In May 2014, the 25 public post-secondary institutions in the province formed a joint procurement consortium to pursue joint purchasing and to advertise for goods and services through BC Bid.
The BC Public Post-Secondary Purchasing Consortium members have now signed contracts for natural gas with Access Gas Services Inc. and Shell Energy North America (Canada) Inc. Targeted savings to the 17 participating institutions expected from the natural gas contracts are approximately $1 million annually.
“This initiative is providing an unparalleled opportunity for post-secondary institutions,” said Xavier Serrano, director, purchasing services, University of Victoria and sector lead for natural gas. “By working together, post-secondary institutions have reduced costs and achieved savings in their natural gas supply contracts.”
The consortium also signed a contract with Scotiabank for purchasing cards. The potential savings and efficiencies are estimated at up to $1 million every year, once the full potential of the program is realized throughout the sector.
Seven public post-secondary institutions are participating at the inception and will realize larger rebates than under expiring agreements based on their combined volumes. Additional institutions have the option of joining as their existing contracts expire.
“The joint procurement consortium means the sector has a unique platform to innovate, share ideas and explore opportunities such as the purchasing card contract that will benefit post-secondary institutions,” said Barry Coulson, associate vice president, administration and finance for Langara College.
The consortium builds on the Administrative Service Delivery Transformation (ASDT) initiative that was launched in 2012 to identify administrative efficiencies and improve service delivery, while protecting and maximizing government’s investments in education for B.C. students. Savings and cost avoidance of more than $10 million to-date in the public post-secondary sector have been achieved.
“Public post-secondary institutions including the 11 public colleges are providing high-quality education for students,” said BC Colleges chair Angus Graeme. “Colleges are supportive of the initiative as it ensures funding can focus on student services.”
The consortium continues to work together on other joint procurement and savings opportunities including office supplies, vending machine services and leveraging provincial banking services.
Learn more about the public post-secondary ASDT initiative:
Ministry of Advanced Education