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THE Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) is inviting comments from private veterinary practitioners and the farming industry on its proposed approach to competitive tendering for TB testing services in England. The agency has set out its approach on its website (at http://animalhealth.defra.gov.uk/about/official-vets/changes-to-procurement/stakeholder-meetings.htm) in the form of two podcasts and material from presentations being given at meetings for stakeholders, which are currently being held around England.
In one podcast, Nina Purcell, the AHVLA's chief operating officer, outlines the agency's intentions regarding the tendering process. ‘The purpose of the TB testing procurement is to ensure that we have a consistent and auditable quality of testing,’ she says. ‘Demonstrating value for money on what is a significant annual amount of public expenditure is also very important to us.’
Ms Purcell acknowledges concerns among existing suppliers of TB testing services that the new approach and tendering process will exclude small, local practices. ‘The way in which we intend to address this concern is to encourage tenders that demonstrate delivery through a network of private veterinary practices,’ she says, …