Frequently Asked Questions
Focused Education Resources Society (Focused Education) is a new, incorporated not-for-profit society that consolidates the activities of the BC Education Marketplace (BCEM) and Educational Resources Acquisition Consortium (ERAC).
Focused Education provides learning resource evaluations and professional learning offerings, collaborative procurement projects and access to professional procurement advice, privacy advice and support (including Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs)), information technology services.
Our mission is simple and vitally important: supporting excellence in K-12 education.
Focused Education will work with districts to identify which commodities may be candidates for collaborative procurement. Historical purchasing data will be collected to determine which commodities offer the best opportunity to generate benefits (administrative, service, financial) for the sector.
Contracts under this initiative will be established with input from subject matter experts in order to drive financial and operational benefits to school district.
Focused Education will not procure or warehouse goods on behalf of school districts. School districts will be responsible for establishing participation agreements with the contracted supplier(s), placing their orders with, obtaining deliveries, and processing of invoices with the supplier directly.
School districts should continue to honor their existing agreement with their current supplier. As existing agreements expire, Focused Education will work with districts and our shared services partners to determine our procurement strategy for the sector for the relevant goods or services.
Focused Education will use the approach outlined below for strategic collaborative procurement projects:
1. Goods or services for project consideration are identified through surveys, end user suggestions or other methods.
2. A project team is formed comprised of subject matter experts representing all districts from all regions of the province.
3. The project team will work together to define the potential opportunity and identify the data requirements for further research.
4. Purchase history data or other information related to the goods or services to be researched are requested from school districts.
5. The project team analyzes the aggregate data to determine whether there is potential benefit in a collaborative contract and whether to initiate a competitive bid process. If yes, the project proceeds to the next step. If no, the project will stop at this stage.
6. The project team develops competitive tender documentation defining the opportunity for potential suppliers including detailed specifications, service requirements and regional considerations. The team also develops an evaluation process that will be used to assess the bids received.
7. Focused Education forwards a memo to school districts inviting them to participate in the competitive tender process. The agreement to participate does not obligate the school district to commit to the final contract.
8. The competitive tender is publicly posted inviting suppliers to submit proposals in response. The competitive tender opportunity is defined based on the potential contract volumes of participating school districts with details of how the proposal will be impacted if lower final contract volumes are committed.
9. The project team evaluates submissions and determines the lead supplier(s) for further negotiations. The contents of the lead submission(s) relevant to each district is considered the framework agreement. Depending on the complexity of the opportunity the contract could be split provincially, regionally or awarded to multiple vendors. The project team will determine the optimum deal structure based on the results of the bid evaluation process.
10. The details of the framework agreement(s) relevant to each school district are communicated asking districts to assess the offer and decide whether they will participate in the final contract.
11. Final contract negotiations proceed between the project team and the supplier(s) based on committed contract volumes. If there are any negative impacts to the framework agreement through final negotiations, the revised details will be sent to school districts and they will be provided with the opportunity to review their participation commitment.
12. Details of the final agreement between Focused Education and the supplier(s) are communicated to participating school districts. The agreement between Focused Education and each supplier will be a Framework Agreement detailing the pricing, service terms and duration of the contract. School districts will then enter into direct agreements with the supplier(s) for their requirements under the Framework Agreement.
13. Focused Education assists districts and the supplier(s) with contract implementation and maintenance throughout the term of the contract.
14. The project team assesses the results of the project to identify potential improvements for future projects. The results of the assessment are then integrated into the next Focused Education project in a continuous improvement cycle.
15. The project team initiates the next project in their area of subject matter expertise or is disbanded if there are no additional projects.