The Buyers Network March 1997

The Buyers Network is published monthly by the Purchasing Division of the West Virginia Department of Administration to Promote Better Value in Public Purchasing

March 1997 (Volume 7, Issue 2)

Diane Holley, Editor

Articles in this Issue:

Doing Our Part...Purchasing Adds Its Homepage to the State's Website

State Spending Freeze Implemented

Issues of Today and Tomorrow: Changes Occur in the Assignment of Products and Services

EXPO '97 Reaches Variety of Vendors

Purchasing Month: NIGP Salutes the Public Purchasers

Time's Running out...Register Soon!

Proposal for Travel Services Contract Being Evaluated

Addressing Today's Technology...Counting Down Until Year 2000

WV Public Employees Credit Union Opens its Doors to its New Location

More News From the Travel Management Office: State of West Virginia Awarded STAG's Best Governmental Travel Program

UPS Changes its Rates and Services

Buyers Update Contract Details

Current Statewide Contract Update (As of February 15, 1997)

Jim Teets Selected to Direct the Department of Administration

Questions?...Just Ask Us!

Doing Our Part...

Purchasing Adds Its Homepage to the State's Website

By Dan Miller and Janice Boggs (Automation Unit)

While we may not be speeding down the information highway, you could say we are chugging along. In fact, if you point your web browser toward, you will see what kind of progress we have made recently.

Vendors have been asking for a long time if they could access information about the Purchasing Division on the Internet. Until lately, the answer was an apologetic 'no'; but now we can refer them to our online version of the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin which is usually available two or three days sooner then the paper edition.

State agencies have something to look for on our site as well. An online list of Purchasing Division contacts is available by clicking on "Phone Directory" and soon the Agency Purchasing Procedures Manual will be uploaded, too. In fact, it is even possible to read this article online because The Buyers Network has also been added to our site.

For those of you who do not have access to the Internet at home or work yet, you will still have a chance to visit our site during the 1997 Spring Purchasing Conference. In addition to two workshops on the Internet, our Solutions Center will be open and available for purchasing-related "surfing".

The Solutions Center will be conveniently located in the Holly Room at Canaan Valley State Resort Park, and will include training stations on the TEAM automated purchasing system, the WVFIMS fixed assets system, and the WVFIMS encumbrance module.

The purpose of this website is to make the information you need available when you need it. Therefore, if you have any suggestions or comments as to what you would like to see included, drop us a note online. Our addresses are: or

See next month's issue of The Buyers Network for other website locations which may be helpful to you, the purchasing professional.

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State Spending Freeze Implemented

Non-Exempt State Procurements Affected

A spending freeze has been put into effect for several purchasing transactions. Although most high dollar transactions will be affected, there are some exemptions to this requirement. These exemptions include:

Those transactions, which are not exempt from the freeze, consist of all requisitions for new contracts or purchase orders that are not included in the list above. In addition, change orders that increase the scope, renews, extends, increases the amount of the purchase order, or creates additional responsibility or obligation on the spending unit are not exempt from this requirement.

These non-exempt transactions will be reviewed by a committee which meets regularly to consider the spending unit's requisitions and justifications prior to advertising and receipt of bids. Upon approval by this committee, the requisition or change order will be signed and returned.

The spending freeze will continue until further notice.

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Issues of Today and Tomorrow

Changes Occur in the Assignment of Products and Services

The Acquisition & Contract Administration Section has undergone some recent changes in commodity assignments. Effective February 3rd, three buyers began procuring different commodities and services.

Senior Buyer Pam Jones is now responsible for the commodities and services previously handled by Senior Buyer Jim Jackson. Therefore, Jones' assignment includes all data processing and communication equipment; and, microfilm/audio visual equipment.

Jones' previous assignment is now being handled by Buyer Charlyn Miller. Miller is responsible for procuring such commodities and services as architect/engineering services; pharmaceuticals; laboratory supplies; professional services; and photographic equipment.

Jackson will thus take over the commodities and services Miller formerly handled. This assignment includes business services; janitorial sup-plies; building materials; service and trade equipment; and water purification and sewage treatment equipment.

Curtis explains that the reason for the reassignment is to provide a challenge for the buyers to learn about new commodities and procedures as well as to make new business and agency contacts. In addition, he added that there will be many benefits to these changes from a management point of view. One of these benefits include cross training, which is required due to the reduced work force and the continuation of the workload.

"With this change, it now offers us three pairs of eyes looking at transactions in an entirely different manner, " Curtis said. "I fully expect that the buyers will discover more effective and efficient ways to manage the files and to improve commodity quality and process."

Please note that the buyers will continue to use the same file numbers, e.g. File 21, and their existing telephone numbers.

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EXPO '97 Reaches Variety of Vendors

For several years, the Purchasing Division has had the opportunity to participate as an exhibitor at EXPO, sponsored by the West Virginia Contractor's Association, WV Utility Contractors Association, WV Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Institute of Architects-WV. EXPO is scheduled for March 26-27 at the Charleston Civic Center. And...we'll be there again this year!

The purpose behind our participation in this exhibition is to let vendors in the construction, architectural, and engineering industry realize the importance of doing business with the state of West Virginia. Literature is offered which explains our vendor registration procedures as well as the types of commodities and services which the state requires to perform day to day operation.

The equation is simple: The increase number of vendors registered to do business with state agencies yields increased competition equals "the best buy" at the lowest price. For more information on the 18th annual EXPO, contact the West Virginia Contractors Association at 304-342-3976.

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Purchasing Month

NIGP Salutes the Public Purchasers

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. (NIGP) and other purchasing associations wanted to further expand the awareness of the purchasing and materials management profession's role to governmental officials, the general public, business and corporate leaders and the media.

Although each association conducts individual activities throughout the year, NIGP determined that there should be one time when all associations could contribute to a universal event for the benefit of the profession. As a result, the month of March has been proclaimed as Purchasing Month.

Purchasing professionals are responsible for managing and monitoring billions of dollars worth of goods and services each year. Purchasers make important contributions to the quality, efficiency and profitability of small and large organizations and businesses in the public and private sectors across the United States.

During this month, let's take a moment to acknowledge the importance of our profession and the contributions which we make on a daily basis.

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Time's Running out...Register Soon!

The March 15th deadline to register for the 1997 Spring Purchasing Conference is almost here! The conference will be held at Canaan Valley State Park in Davis, West Virginia on April 14-17, 1997. Approximately 20 different workshop topics will be addressed.

For more details, please contact the conference coordinators, Diane Holley (304-558-0661) or Debbie Watkins (304-558-3568).

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Proposal for Travel Services Contract Being Evaluated

The statewide contract for travel services is currently being evaluated by a committee representing several state agencies who heavily utilize the travel services contract (TM97). According to David Tincher, Director of the Administrative Services Section, the bids for TM97 opened on January 29, 1997.

Six travel agencies bid on the contract, two of which were West Virginia agencies. Thirteen agencies had been represented at the pre-bid conference, held in December. The purpose of the conference was to clarify any issues relating to the request for proposal for the contract. "We wanted to offer an accurate description of our needs and answer any questions which potential bidders may have in regard to the request for proposal," Tincher said.

Once the evaluation committee comes to a consensus for a recommendation, they will forward their recommendation to Buyer Charlyn Miller, who will assure that the process was completed in a fair, cost-efficient manner and approves or disapproves the final recommendation.

The statewide travel services contracts offers travel management services for all state agencies. These services include, but are not limited to:

The contract will serve all 150+ agencies and any political subdivision which chooses to participate. Tincher estimates that this contract will generate a dollar value of $5 million; however, revenue sharing was encouraged as part of the proposal.

"On behalf of the state of West Virginia, the evaluation committee and myself are eager to review the proposals and, if needed, make on-site visits to those vendors who offer the necessary services with the most cost-efficient price tag," he added.

Additional information regarding this contract will be reported in an upcoming issue of The Buyers Network.

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Addressing Today's Technology...Counting Down Until Year 2000

A request for proposal has recently been released to address the Year 2000 date impact issue. The buzz word these days is "Year 2000", which is often used in association with automation systems. So, what's the big deal?

The big deal is that if computer programs are not ready for the year entry of 2000, the result could be devastating. For example, some computer systems already have the first two digits (19_ _) preset. Others may have only two digits (for the last two digits of the year, presuming the first two digits are 1 and 9). In either case, the systems must be modified prior to the turn of the century. For procurement transactions, the year 2000 is closer than we may think.

The RFP, which is scheduled to open March 19th, is being coordinated by the Information Services and Communications Division (IS&C). The purpose of the RFP is to secure the services of Year 2000 experts to assist West Virginia in assessing the impact of the century date change on all computers, operating systems, application programs, and other systems that may impact currently supported state government activities. In addition, the experts would assist the agency in developing Year 2000 strategies and plans; and, to assist in the necessary transformation to compliant systems.

Each agency is ultimately responsible for their own Year 2000 effort; however, IS&C and the Information Technology Council is making the attempt to ensure that adequate resources and assistance is available to allow agencies to become Year 2000 compliant.

According to the RFP, the objective is to provide access to resources for identifying, modifying and/or replacing computer hardware and software, supporting West Virginia state government and political subdivisions, that are not Year 2000 compliant. This objective may be met through the award of a multi-vendor, non-exclusive, statewide contract.

Information regarding the Year 2000 dilemma may be gathered through the Year 2000 Information Center, found at, according to a recent issue of Shared Logic, IS&C's monthly newsletter. Feature articles are available at this Internet location which address various factors of this issue.

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WV Public Employees Credit Union Opens its Doors to its New Location

Have you heard about the recent changes occurring at the WV Public Employees Credit Union (WVPECU)?

The biggest news is that they have moved. After renovating the former One Valley Bank building on Washington Street, WVPECU opened its doors on January 15th with a wide range of services to offer: free check cashing, direct deposit, savings, checking, loans, and VISA/MAC cards.

To open an account, there is a $5.00 minimum deposit and a one-time entry fee of $2.00. Currently, WVPECU has a special offer. For each new checking account opened, the customer receives a free tote bag. Customers also receive a free MAC card for one year when signing up for direct deposit. For additional information on the services offered by WVPECU, please call 304-558-0566.

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More News From the Travel Management Office

State of West Virginia Awarded STAG's Best Governmental Travel Program

The travel program for the state of West Virginia has recently been recognized as the "Best Government Travel Program" by the Society of Travel Agents in Government (STAG).

STAG, which has a membership of approximately 500, including state agencies, federal agencies, higher education institutions, suppliers and travel agents, honor member organizations in different categories annually for outstanding performance and excellence in professional development and education.

STAG's Professional Development Award Committee based this award on the effectiveness in researching, addressing and solving an industry's problem(s), communications, use of organization resources and results; innovation in selecting target market(s), selection of media and other promotional vehicles, using visual and written materials to communicate its message; and creativity in the approach to the market and message originality.

The state's travel program, managed by David Tincher, Director of the Administrative Services Section, has experienced a recent restructuring that has resulted in many improvements to the program. Targeted achievements include the establishment of communication links with state travelers, the rebid of contracts for travel services and credit cards, and a revision of the state travel regulations. Approximately 26,000 state employees may be required to conduct business travel whether occasionally or regularly.

Other accomplishments included the coordinated network of travel coordinators; the extensive training sessions conducted statewide; and, the quarterly newsletter.

"We are pleased to be selected by STAG for this award," Tincher said. "We will continue to look for additional opportunities to improve the state's travel program in the future."

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UPS Changes its Rates and Services

The United Parcel Service (UPS) has notified the state central mail room that rate changes, and new and enhanced services went into effect February 1, 1997, according to the Information Services and Communications (IS&C) Division. The new rate charts, zone charts, and service bulletins are available by calling 1-800-PICK-UPS.

The following rates apply to packages shipped within the United States and Puerto Rico: UPS Ground increased 3.6%; and UPS Next Day Air, 2nd Day Air, and 3 Day Air all increased 3.9%. Rates also rose for Next Day Early A.M., Call Tag, Air Hazardous Materials, and packages shipped internationally. The weekly service charge for pickup service may change, depending upon the customer's weekly billing activity.

UPS also announced new and enhanced services, including UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.; UPS Hundredweight Service; and Enhanced UPS Ground Service. Call UPS or visit their web site at

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Buyers Update Contract Details

The Purchasing Division buying staff recently announced updated information regarding two statewide contracts:

Statewide Contract for Copiers: According to Buyer Supervisor Ron Price, the contract for copiers (CM) is currently being rebid. Extensions on CM95 are being sought from the current vendors, which include American Office Systems, Xerox, Ricoh, Sharp, Solutions for Business, West Virginia Business Products, Minolta, Arrons Products, and Panisonic.

Statewide Contract for Wood Furniture Contract: According to Buyer Dick Estill, the existing statewide contract for general wood furniture (WOOD) has officially expired, effective immediately. Prison Industries will now be the sole contractor for this commodity.

Agencies may contact Prison Industries at (304) 558-2036 for detailed information about their wooden furniture products.

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Current Statewide Contract Update (As of February 15, 1997)

Information and dates included in this Current Statewide Contract Update are subject to change. If you need additional information, please contact the appropriate state buyer.

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

TM Travel Management Services

File 31

Bid Opening: 01/29/97 (Under Evaluation)

CM Copiers and Supplies

File 33

Bid Opening: 03/04/97 (To Be Opened)

Contracts Renewed

CABLE Coax Cable (A)

File 21

Effective 03/20/97

Vendor: Graybar

DFS Disposable Food Service

File 22

Effective 04/10/97

Vendor: Unisource

R-TIRES Retread Tires

File 33

Effective 02/01/97

Vendor: Mountaineer Retreading

42 MOP General Office Furniture

File 42

Effective 01/09/97

Vendor: Hon Company Interiors

Contracts Extended

S-SVC Security Guard Services

File 22

Expiration: 04/14/97

Vendor: Security America

SAT Satellite

File 22

Expiration: 08/14/97

Vendor: Keystone Communications

Contracts Canceled

FAX Facsimile Machines

File 21

Expiration: 04/14/97

WOOD General Wooden Office Furniture

File 42

Effective: 02/15/97

Contracts to be Reviewed

Statewide contracts are reviewed approximately three (3) months prior to the actual expiration date.


PLS-BG Plastic Can Liners

AUDIT Single Audit Services

NEED/SYR Needles and Syringes


DICT Dictating Equipment

OIL Lubricants and Oils

EL-TOOLS Portable Electric Hand Tools

LAN-MAN Lawn Maintenance Equipment


AC Water Treatment Chemicals

MH-TOOLS Mechanic Hand tools

CC Travel Management Charge Card

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Jim Teets Selected to Direct the Department of Administration

The Purchasing Card Program Tops Cabinet Secretary Teets'
List of Priorities During this Administration

At a press conference on January 31, 1997, Governor Cecil Underwood appointed eight of his cabinet secretaries and bureau chiefs to assist him in leading West Virginia into the 21st century. Jim Teets of Kingwood was selected as cabinet secretary for the Department of Administration, under which the Purchasing Division is organized.

A business owner by trade, Secretary Teets brings with him a strong business background and a thorough under-standing of state government, since he was a member of the House of Delegates, serving as Minority Leader from 1976 to 1982.

In a recent interview, Secretary Teets indicated three issues on which he intends to place great emphasis during the beginning of this administration. Enhancing customer service within the Department and developing a human resource information system are two of his goals as well as the expansion of the state purchasing card program.

"The state purchasing card is an initiative that is currently underway that I would like to see expanded," according to Secretary Teets. "However, I think that there are some areas of control that need to be looked at and some areas of technology that were not built into the program. I think we need to look at how we can integrate technology into the purchasing card program." The program enables state agencies to utilize credit cards for small purchases.

"I'm very pleased with the enthusiasm which Secretary Teets has expressed toward the purchasing card program. I believe it fits well in Governor Underwood's plan for modernizing state government," Dick Estill, Purchasing Card Administrator, said.

The pilot for this program began in October of 1996 with 43 card users from six different state agencies. According to Estill, all agencies have been notified of the program and a series of informative workshops have been scheduled. Cards are expected to begin being issued by April, 1997.

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Questions?...Just Ask Us!

Are you unsure of certain purchasing procedures? ... Do you need to know what printing services Consolidated Publishing Facility provides? ... Do you have a question regarding travel requests? ... Would you want to know what surplus property is available?... If you need information concerning any function within the Purchasing Division, complete the form below:



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