Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Closing in on OPEN procurement

ASCL has raised concerns with the DCSF that, at a time when there is pressure on schools to improve procurement processes, the department's OPEN e-procurement tool is compatible with Capita SIMS but not other financial management systems (FMS).

In its reply, the department told ASCL: "We do understand that not all schools and local authorities use the same FMS and compatibility with OPEN is an issue. The department is keen to work with local authorities, schools and any systems provider, to support the continued roll out of OPEN.

"The decision was taken to work initially with Capita SIMS because the majority of schools use that FMS, however, we are currently working with several other financial management software providers (including one local authority, RM and Sage) to develop OPEN interoperability. The system uses standard industry practices and has been specifically designed to make integration work as easy as possible.

"As the system moves forward we aim to make OPEN available to as many schools as possible and we will continue to review our integration approach."

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