The Buyers Network is published monthly by the Purchasing Division by the West Virginia Department of Adminstration to promote better value in public purchasing.

Welcome to the April Issue of The Buyers Network!


Purchasing Card Program Introduced to Agencies

Purchasing Division Assists Agencies in the State's Flood Clean Up

Issues of Today and Tomorrow...Did You Get What You Asked For?

NIGP Elects State Chapter Officers

Talk to Us Via E-Mail

Statewide Systems Furniture Vendors Offer Demo at Ergonomics Day `97

Try Not to Manage All of Your Time

Conference Set for Canaan Valley

Accuracy and Clarity Vital in Writing Specifications

Auditor's Office Refuses Payment to Servicing Dealers


Information at Your Fingertips

Bosnian Officials Visit State Capitol for Training Program

CPF Enhances its Operation with Delivery Service

No Recent Changes Made to State Travel Regulations

Current Statewide Contract Update

Frequently Asked Questions

Explaining the Nuts and Bolts of TEAM

Questions...Just Ask!

Purchasing Card Program Introduced to Agencies

The idea of using a credit card for governmental purchases at first may have seemed too innovative; however, according to Dick Estill, the State Purchasing Card Administrator, this program is far from new.

"The federal government began using a purchasing card in 1986," he said. "This year, they estimate that they will charge $3.5 billion using their card program." Just in the U.S. General Services Administration, there are approximately 250,000 cards assigned.

Although this program hit the private sector and federal government level over 10 years ago, states have been slower in implementing similar programs. With West Virginia being among the first to implement a full statewide purchasing card program, Estill describes our efforts "ahead of the pack". All state agencies, who were not part of the pilot, received information about the program and were requested to appoint a coordinator. The coordinators and agency managers were invited to attend a workshop explaining how the program is to be managed.

Ten workshops were conducted, with over 150 individuals in attendance. "After attending the workshop, the managers and coordinators have been asked to return to their agencies and determine how they could utilize the program," Estill said. "In addition, they are to design guidelines on how they will implement the program within their own agency and to submit to us individual card applications."

Forty-three (43) active cards were issued during the pilot program. Estill predicts over 3,000 cards will be issued once the program is fully implemented. "We want to get the cards in the hands of the people who make the purchasing decisions," Estill said.

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Purchasing Division Assists Agencies in the State's Flood Clean Up

The ravishing floods which were created by a seemly endless rainfall the weekend of March 1st caused millions of dollars in damage within West Virginia and neighboring states. With a continuous plea from Governor Cecil Underwood and other state leaders, President Clinton declared 16 flood-stricken counties in West Virginia as federal disaster areas.

This declaration entitles West Virginia to federal reimbursement for a portion of the flood recovery costs it incurs. It also makes flood victims eligible for different types of federal assistance for individuals and businesses.

The counties included Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Gilmer, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Mason, Putnam, Roane, Tyler, Wayne, Wetzel, Wirt and Wood counties.

The Federal Emergency Manage-ment Agency (FEMA) worked jointly with state officials in coordinating the recovery efforts. A toll-free telephone number was established for individuals who experienced flood losses to call for assistance.

The Purchasing Division assisted in the flood cleanup efforts by working closely with the Office of Emergency Services (OES). This agency served as the clearinghouse for all of the purchases made, according to Curt Curtiss, Acting Purchasing Director.

"The total financial impact of the flood to the state will take weeks to estimate," Curtiss said. "Last year, the four floods which occurred cost approximately $7 million each for a total of $28 million in state relief only."

The role of the Purchasing Division during this time is to assist the recovery workers by locating needed equipment and supplies, and placing these items in the required areas. Some of the items acquired by the state during the cleanup effort was bleach, gloves, mops, brooms, and a wide variety of food, Curtiss said. "Our Division is used by the National Guard during emergencies such as this disaster for source assistance in locating needed supplies."

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Issues of Today and Tomorrow... Did You Get What You Asked For? Better Double Check

It is a good business practice to be skeptical of goods and services being furnished to you. Check your original records of the purchase and verify that what was asked for was actually received. This pertains to quality as well as quantity.

If the goods and services were obtained under a contract or purchase order, verify that the terms and conditions, and specifications were met. The vendor should be notified immediately if you detect a problem. If no action is rendered, the Purchasing Division should be notified at once to correct the situation.

Why do these problems exist? In most cases, the problems can be attributed to an oversight or mistake by the supplier. But, don't rule out the fact that a select few of the vendors may try to take advantage of you. There have been cases where goods and services were billed to the agency, but never delivered. Unscrupulous vendors are counting on you not checking or verifying the order.

The morale of the story? Be cautious. Check — double or even triple check — before you verify that an order is complete.

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NIGP Elects State Chapter Officers

At the February general meeting of the West Virginia Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), members elected their new officers:


    Skip Amole

    Division of Environmental Protection


    Vice President:

    Angela White Negley

    WV Development Office



    Diane Holley

    Purchasing Division



    Bob Bragg

    Division of Highways


Need more information on WV-NIGP? The WV-NIGP Chapter meets bi-monthly at different locations throughout the state. If you would like to learn more about NIGP, please contact any of the new officers.

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Talk to Us Via E-Mail

As part of the Purchasing Division's homepage, The Buyers Network is now available online. Within each electronic issue is the option to inquire for additional information. It's easy...Just "click" on Questions... Just Ask Us. When you click at this location, a form will appear which may be completed to receive information on any of our programs and services. You will even receive a response, if possible, by e-mail. We've come a long way...

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Statewide Systems Furniture Vendors Offer Demo at Ergonomics Day `97

Employers have found that modifying the worker to accommodate the workplace only results in high costs and injured employees. According to Emil Golias of OSHA's Salt Lake City Technical Center, government and businesses alike are addressing the problem by looking at ergonomics, the study of adapting workstations, tools and techniques to be compatible with the human anatomy to reduce risk of injury due to occupational stressors.

Golias was the keynote speaker for Ergonomics Day '97, which was held at the State Training Center at the Capitol Complex on March 4th. Other activities included a panel discussion, a tour of the WV Rehabilitative Services' Assistive Technology Job Accommodation Mobile Service, informational videos, demonstrations of preventive exercises, and a display of ergonomically correct workstations.

Vendors of the statewide contract for systems furniture were on hand to show the latest in workstation design and accessories to properly fit today's worker. Prison Industries also offered samples of their adjustable chairs.

The purpose of the event was to make people aware of the importance of ergonomics and the savings which can be realized by properly designed workstations. It is estimated that failing to design the workplace to fit the worker has cost employers $20 billion in direct workers' compensation and five times that amount in indirect losses.

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Try Not to Manage All of Your Time

You may think of time management as working smarter and faster, but the author of First Things First provides a different focus.

    Leadership guru Stephen Covey advises:

  • Create a mission,
  • Balance personal and work roles,
  • Build relationships, and
  • Focus on activities with long-term payoffs.
  • Covey says we must spend less time on unimportant activities, no matter how urgent they may seem.
  • Don't be a deadline addict, he advises. That's a person who procrastinates until the last moment, but seems to thrive on the adrenaline rush they get when racing to the finish line. In the process, however, they neglect important life roles.
  • Work effectively and plan to meet deadlines by doing the work at the proper time.
  • Consider, says the author, what people will say about you on your 86th birthday. Then decide what you want them to say.
  • Find ways to make the favorable description of your lifetime come true. Remember that the quality of your relationships now reflects the state of your life/work balance.

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    Conference Set for Canaan Valley State Park

    The Purchasing Division is making last minutes plans for the 1997 Purchasing Conference, which will be held on April 14-17 at Canaan Valley State Resort & Conference Center.

    Participants were provided the opportunity to choose among twenty different workshops, ranging in topic from Advanced Purchasing to Internet for Purchasing Professionals to Retirement Options. The purpose of the variance in topics addressed is to provide an overall understanding of West Virginia governmental purchasing and, at the same time, offering helpful information to the participants as employees of the state. For more details, call Diane Holley (558-0661) or Debbie Watkins (558-3568).

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    Accuracy and Clarity Vital in Writing Specifications

    It's all in how you say it...One of the most important tasks which public purchasers perform is the preparation of specifications.

    You get what you ask for...All too often, though, specifications are the weakest part of the purchaser's effort.

    Be careful what you ask for, you may get...Most problems that arise during the purchasing process can be directly attributed to poorly prepared specifications. If specifications are the foundation of the entire purchasing process, why do we continue to see so many ill-prepared specs?

    One reason is that little attention is often given to establishing actual needs in relation to availability of commodities and services to meet those needs. Brand name and model number, with no reference to necessary features and functions, is sometimes the only information included on a requisition. Well-meaning vendors submit quotations as to what is assumed is required only to learn later that more or less was actually intended.

    The solution: Take the time to plan and research your actual needs. Define only the required functions and features and determine if more than one source can meet those requirements.

    Be cautious when collecting information to assist you in preparing your specifications. By focusing on only one know source, you may get some features which you do not need or, on the reverse, you may not get what you need. Some commodities and services are purposely "gold-plated" to make them appear more appealing; however, you will be paying for those extra features which you may not need.

    Some specifiers have been known to copy descriptions directly from vendor literature - tack on the clause "or equal" - expecting bidders to match their commodities to that description. This is impossible since no two products can be identical under these terms. Patents, trademarks and copy right laws prevent it.

    It's simple...Take the necessary time to gather the appropriate information and to prepare your specifications. The result will be apparent in the quality of your end product.

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    Auditor's Office Refuses Payment to Servicing Dealers

    The Auditor's Office has recently notified the Purchasing Division that requests for payment must be made to the contract vendor.

    This notification came after Goodyear, the contract vendor for the statewide contract for new tires, requested that all payments be made directly to the servicing dealers, such as Appalachian Tire, Penske, etc., according to Ron Price, Buyer Supervisor.

    "Agencies should return any invoice received from any other vendor other than Goodyear on contract number NTIRE97," Price explains. The Auditor's Office has recently notified the Purchasing Division that requests for payment must be made to the contract vendor.

    This notification came after Goodyear, the contract vendor for the statewide contract for new tires, requested that all payments be made directly to the servicing dealers, such as Appalachian Tire, Penske, etc., according to Ron Price, Buyer Supervisor.

    "Agencies should return any invoice received from any other vendor other than Goodyear on contract number NTIRE97," Price explains.

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    Information at Your Fingertips

    Thanks to our Automation Manager Dan Miller, this issue of The Buyers Network includes these helpful resources which can be found on the Internet.

    Official Homepage of the Purchasing Division


    (includes division directory, West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin [authorized access], The Buyers Network)

    Official Homepage of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing


    (includes information on professional certification and hotlinks to other purchasing sites)

    Homepage for the National Association of Purchasing Management


    (includes information on professional certification and hotlinks to other purchasing sites)

    Collection of Purchasing Links


    Federal Acquisition Jumpstation


    (includes links to the purchasing arm of most federal agencies, including GSA)

    Purchasing Magazine


    (online magazine focusing on such issues as price trends, market forecasts, statistics.)

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    Bosnian Officials Visit State Capitol for Training Program

    "This training program will provide us with an opportunity to showcase the strengths and the positives of West Virginia to our international audiences."

    Sudhakar R. Jamkhandi, Ph.D.

    Director of the Center for International Understanding

    Seven government officials from Bosnia visited the West Virginia State Capitol beginning on March 24, 1997 as part of a customized short-term technical assistance training program, titled Fiscal Federalism for Bosnian Officials, offered by the Center for International Understanding (CIU) at Bluefield State College. The program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, began on March 14th in Washington, D.C. and will continue through April 12th. A duplicate training program with seven different Bosnian participants is scheduled for April 12-May 10, 1997. The Purchasing Division, along with other state agencies, participated in this training effort.

    As a result of the Dayton Agreement, which called for the reconstruction of Bosnia, the government must create cantons (similar to states in the United States) which will become a level of government between the municipalities and the federal government. One challenge facing the federation now is to create the fiscal relationships among these three levels of government.

    The purpose of this training is to expose the participants to the American model of fiscal relationships between the city, state, and federal governments, so that upon returning to Bosnia, the participants will be able to design and implement improved budget preparation and evaluation processes.

    According to Sudhakar R. Jamkhandi, Ph.D., CIU Director, the training components will consist of intergovernmental financial relations, intergovern-mental grant process, local government revenue structures, budgeting/accounting/reporting systems, and the citizens' role in the budgeting process.

    In addition to the Purchasing Division, the training also included federal, municipal and county presenta-tions and site visits.

    Established in 1987-88 with Title III BRACE, the Center for International Understanding (CIU), a self supporting entity within Bluefield State College, is committed to enhancing the global competitiveness of West Virginia and southwest Virginia. Since 1994, CIU has conducted 74 customized training programs assisting 18 different coun-tries.

    Additional information relating to this training program will be included in next month's issue of The Buyers Network.

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    CPF Enhances its Operation with Delivery Service

    OK, your print job is ready. But who has time to pick it up?

    As a service to state agencies, the Consolidated Publishing Facility will deliver completed print jobs for a nominal fee of $10 per delivery. For many, this service is greatly needed, since they do not have an individual dedicated to run an assortment of errands.

    David Wolfe, who delivers for the Central Stockroom, has taken on additional duties by delivering for the print facility. He said he enjoys the interpersonal relationships which he has built over the years. "I accommodate the agencies by putting things where they want them," he said. "I guess you could call it a personal delivery."

    CPF operates its main facility at 200 Morris Street in Charleston and three Quick Copy Convenience Center; two are located on the Capitol Complex and one at the Division of Environmental Protection in Nitro. For more information, please call 558-2325.

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    No Recent Changes Made to State Travel Regulations

    In the course synopsis for the Travel Management workshop in the spring conference information packet, it stated that there would be a explanation of the new revised travel regulations. This reference was to the travel regulations which were revised in 1996. There has been no recent changes to the regulations.

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    Current Statewide Contract Update (As of March 16, 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 Awarded

    LAUN - Laundry Materials
    Effective 08/01/97
    Vendor: Ecolabs

    Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

    PLS-BGS - Plastic Can Liners
    File: 22
    Bid Opening Date: 04/23/97
    Under Evaluation: To Be Opened

    TM - Travel Management Services
    File: 31
    Bid Opening Date: 01/29/97
    Under Evaluation: Yes

    THERM - Electronic Thermometers
    File: 31
    Bid Opening Date: 04/02/97
    Under Evaluation: To Be Opened

    COPIERS - Copy Machines
    File: 33
    Bid Opening Date: 03/04/97
    Under Evaluation: Yes

    G-RAIL - Guard Rail & Posts
    File: 33
    Bid Opening Date: 03/19/97
    Under Evaluation: Yes

    Contracts to be Renewed

    AUD/TAP - Audio Cassette Tapes
    File: 21
    Effective Date: 01/15/97
    Vendor: National Audio

    VID-TAP - Videotapes and Accessories
    File: 21
    Effective Date: 02/01/97
    Vendor: Videotape Products

    MF-SVC - Microfilm Services
    File: 22
    Effective Date: 01/01/97
    Vendor: WV Association of Rehabilitation Facilities

    FLR-MAC - Floor Machines
    File: 22
    Effective Date: 05/01/97
    Vendor: Unisource

    FASTEN - Fasteners & Accessories
    File: 22
    Effective Date: 05/01/97
    Vendor: Mid State Bolt & Nut Co.

    CATH - Catheters & Related Items
    File: 31
    Effective Date: 04/01/97
    Vendor: C.R. Bard, Inc.

    OSTOMY - Ostomy Products & Accessories
    File: 31
    Effective Date: 04/01/97
    Vendor: Hollister Inc.

    LS - Chemical Glassware
    File: 31
    Effective Date: 04/01/97
    Vendor: Fisher Scientific

    FUEL - Fuels: Motor & Heating
    File: 31
    Effective Date: 04/15/97
    Vendor: Pheonix Petroleum; Tri-State Petroleum; R.T. Rogers; Guttman Oil; Petroleum Products; Petroleum Traders.

    Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation


    DICT: Dictating Equipment
    OIL: Lubricants & Oils
    EL-TOOLS: Portable Electric Hand Tools
    LWN-MTN: Lawn Maintenance Equipment
    BUCKETS: Buckets
    WTC: Water Treatment Chemicals
    MH-TOOLS: Mechanic Handtools
    CC: Travel Management Charge Card


    DWMS: Diswashing Materials
    WIPING: Wiping Cloths
    RECMGT: Records Management
    TEMP: Temporary Services
    SYSFURN: Modular Systems Furniture
    C-PIPE: Corrugated Pipe
    R-SHEET: Reflective Sheeting

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Explaining the Nuts and Bolts of TEAM

    By Dan Miller
    Automation Manager

    The Automation Unit recently created a list of frequently asked questions concerning the TEAM purchasing system. The goal is to acquaint individuals who are new to state government with a few facts about this system. And, if some of our experienced TEAM users learn something new, that's OK.

    What does TEAM stand for?

    The name is an acronym meaning: Team Effort for Acquisition Management.

    What is TEAM?

    TEAM is an automated purchasing system, manufactured by GEAC Corporation, formerly Dun & Bradstreet Software. Currently, we are running the 96.01 E-Series software version.

    How does TEAM fit into the big picture?

    TEAM is the designated purchasing component of the West Virginia Financial Information Management System (WVFIMS). We have a long way to go until we have a completely integrated system, but we get a little closer every day.

    Why are there two vendor files?

    In a perfect world, there would be only one vendor file, but in reality the two vendor files evolved in order to fulfill two distinct needs: The TEAM vendor file supports the vendor registration and competitive bid processes of the state Purchasing Division. The WVFIMS vendor file supports the invoice payment and 1099 reporting activities of state agencies, including those which are not regulated by the Purchasing Division.

    What is the WVFIMS PO Module?

    The PO module, also known as the encumbrance module, provides a means for agencies to have funds reserved or set aside in WVFIMS for payments against contracts and purchase orders. The pilot implementation began in December 1996 with the Department of Health & Human Resources.

    TEAM does not support the maintenance and "roll up" of WVFIMS financial codes. The PO module makes it possible to remove the financial codes (account numbers) from TEAM and replace them with a P-number that never changes. The P-number can be used to refer back and forth between the two systems.

    Still have questions? Contact the Automation Unit at 304-558-2314 or 304-558-0086. Or visit our web site at http://www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase.

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    Questions...Just Ask

    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:



    E-Mail Address:


    Need Information About:

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