Management Information Sheet

Revised Procedure for Photocopier and Telephone Systems

MI Sheet TypeInformation
To Be Completed By: 21/09/2012
MI Number:179/12
Publication Date:21/09/2012 12:00:00
LA Contact:Emma Leader (01603 222428)
Audience:Headteacher/Finance Officer

Revised Procedure for Photocopier and Telephone Systems

Attached as Annex A, is a revised contract procedure for photocopiers and telephone systems to support schools to ensure contractual arrangements comply with good financial and procurement practice.

The procedure has been revised in recognition of the fact that a significant number of non-approved contracts have been subject to investigation by Children's Services and Legal Services. These contracts have caused the schools problems due to unexpected costs and failure by the supplier to maintain the equipment

ESPO has collaborated with GPS, Government Purchasing Services and have approved contracts for photocopiers and telephone systems for schools which are recommended to be used to achieve best value for the following reasons:
  • Approved suppliers have participated in a competitive tendering process that is fair, transparent and designed to meet the needs of schools.
  • Approved contractual arrangements provide a significant measure of protection and peace of mind for schools by eliminating the risk of poor terms and conditions as well as inadequate maintenance agreements.
  • Contracts are let on a best value basis and can save money over the period of a rental contract for either a photocopier or telephone system.
  • There are no hidden or additional costs - all toners, maintenance and service are included within the contract. Prices are fixed for the period of the contract.

    Their prices and services have been approved to ensure they offer cost effective solutions.

    Full details of these arrangements are featured on

    GPS and ICT Shared Services can help and advise with providing price comparisons for these companies. This advice helps schools to comply with financial and contractual procedures and saves money by ensuring that equipment purchases are cost effective and have no hidden extras, costs or clauses. The above suppliers do not use a dealer network to supply or maintain the equipment.

    Non- approved suppliers
    There are many non-approved suppliers for photocopiers and telephone systems who use various methods to persuade prospective customers that their products and services are cheaper and better than their competitors.

    Some non-approved suppliers give schools the impression that they are part of an approved supplier or on a waiting list. There is not a waiting list and a company cannot be part of an approved supplier.

    The prices from a non-approved supplier will inevitably be more expensive and the contracts could be for a longer period of time.

    Reasons to avoid using non approved suppliers:

    Photocopiers - common practice includes:
  • Additional supplies are charged for eg toner and spare parts if volumes exceed a set volume of copies in the contract.
  • Copy/print costs and rental charges can be increased within the period of contract.
  • Maintenance and service are charged for as an extra.
  • Some suppliers offer a rebate for signing a contract or to buy out existing agreements, however this will be incorporated into the new contract pricing even if it is not visible in the agreement.

    Telephone Systems - common practice includes:
  • Schools are asked to sign 2 different contracts for the system and maintenance which inflates quarterly costs for the telephone system.
  • New parts are charged which should be included in the contract free of charge.
  • Purchasing additional handsets has in some cases resulted in hidden signing of a contract extension.

    Non-approved suppliers may under or over specify photocopiers or telephone systems to the school's requirements and upgrade contracts very early within the contract period which lead to consolidated interest which means increased payments.

    Using a non-approved supplier may not be the most cost effective solution for the school.

    Contracts should never be signed on the same day a supplier visits the school. You should be given time to read the terms and conditions carefully and to make sure the costs and information that have been provided on the forms is correct.

    If you do receive a quote directly from a supplier, before agreeing and signing the document the quote and contract must be sent to Head of Schools Finance Team for scrutiny and approval to protect you from hidden clauses and ensure you are achieving best value.

    Alternatively you can contact ICT Shared Services direct who will supply a quote for the school. The information and costs are checked with the school to ensure that they are correct and that this is the best value photocopier or telephone system for the school.

    For more information please refer to Annex C of Norfolk's Scheme for Financing Schools

    If you require help, advice or would like a new photocopier or telephone system, please contact ICT Shared Services on 0845 303 3003.

    ICT Shared Services will complete a quote on the best value and appropriate solution for the school.