At the Education Funding Agency, we are tasked with providing revenue and capital funding for the education of 3-19 year olds, as well as supporting the building and maintenance programmes for schools in the UK. At the moment, we are working on the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). The £2.4 billion programme will take place over the next five years, concentrating on redeveloping the 261 schools considered to be in the worst condition in the UK.
We are responsible for managing the procurement stage and reducing the bidding costs. We need a secure platform to manage the large number of bidders involved in the process, so we could manage each bid submission separately. It had to be web-based so it could be accessed by private sector organisations taking part and security was essential as each bidder is submitting confidential information.
With Huddle, we were able to set up a separate workspace for each bidder and even control the permission level for each document. This meant that submissions could be uploaded electronically and we could answer any questions they might have in their own workspace. Once the bidding process is complete we can close each of these workspaces to keep all data secure.
There are now around 300 people located across the UK using Huddle for this project. With such a large number of people involved, the platform had to be easy use with minimum training required. Luckily for us, Huddle has a very intuitive interface and we could start using it straight away. Not only this but with version control, you can keep an eye on who has downloaded what and when, which is essential when you are working with documents that have to be retained for audit purposes.
We’d learnt from previous experience that we needed a much more intuitive collaboration product then before. I’ve even seen instances where authorities have needed dedicated administrators, whose only role is manage collaboration software or track and record documents used in a project like this.
David Ogden, Project Director, Education Funding Agency
David Ogden is the project director at the Education Funding Agency. In this role he is leading on the delivery of both capitally funding and private finance batched school projects. He is current working as project director of the Priority Schools Building Programme (RSBP). Prior to this he was responsible for guiding local authorities through the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.