Diane Holley, Editor

The Buyers Network is Published Monthly by the Purchasing Division of the West Virginia Department of Administration to Promote Better Value in Public Purchasing.

Welcome to the November Issue
of The Buyers Network!

Articles in this issue:

Purchasing Settles into their New Offices
With Boxes Unpacked and Workstations Reassembled...Work's Back to Normal

Statewide Vendor Teleconference Offers "How-To" Course
on Business Opportunities with State Government

Director's Comments
Purchasing Card Program

Procurement Officer of the Year Award Planned to Continue in 1998

Purchasing Division's ODDS & ENDS

It's a Dirty Job, But Somebody Has To Do It...
Moving Required Patience and Some Elbow Grease

THANK YOU...for Responding to our Conference Survey

Tips for the Thrifty

Fleet Conference Offers Two-Way Feedback with Agency Coordinators

What is a Direct or Sole Source Purchase?
Be Cautious in Determining if Competition Exists

Questions Could Be Answered In-House

NIGP Sponsors Scholarship Fund

Governor Appoints Joseph Markus Administration Cabinet Secretary

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask!

Purchasing Settles into their New Offices
                     With Boxes Unpacked and Workstations
                       Reassembled, Work's Back to Normal

After much anticipation and preparation, several staff members of the Purchasing Division have finally moved into their new offices at 2019 Washington Street, East within the State Capitol Complex in Charleston. Nearly 30 employees of the Acquisition and Contract Administration Section, Administrative Services Section and the Director's Office were affected by this move.

The transition was planned concisely to avoid any excessive reduction in productivity. Employees were using loaded boxes as chairs and desks or sitting in vacant nearby offices for a few days while the existing modular workstations were disassembled and moved to the new office space.

"The Purchasing Division staff made every effort to conduct business as usual; however, with files packed away, computers down, and telephones being switched from our old system to our new system, business was far from usual," according to Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "Fortunately, the needs and schedules of all parties involved in this project were coordinated so that after one task was completed, the next task began."

In January of 1998, the second floor, which is currently being renovated, will be the new office space for members of the Finance Division of the Department of Administration.

Back to the Top


Statewide Vendor Teleconference Offers 'How-To' Course
on Business Opportunities with State Government

The statewide vendor teleconference sponsored by the Purchasing Division on October 28th reached out to West Virginia businesses and encouraged their participation in the state bidding process. Their active involvement will result in an increased competition for solicited state goods and services. Nearly 200 representatives from West Virginia businesses participated in this teleconference.

"We want to see more in-state vendors competing for products and services that state agencies need," according to Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "By giving these vendors a `how-to' course on doing business with state government, they most likely found that the business opportunities here in state government are quite appealing." For fiscal year 1997, West Virginia vendors received 69% of the state dollars spent, approximately $337 million. Out-of-state vendors received about $152 million (31%) for products and services purchased by our state government agencies.*

In accordance with Gov. Cecil H. Underwood's commitment to technology, the Purchasing Division used satellite transpondency to downlink to 12 different locations throughout the state. Gov. Underwood, Administration Secretary Joe Markus, and State Auditor Glen Gainer III offered pretaped messages to the participants.

`Live' at West Virginia State College's Educational Network, Tincher moderated the presentation with the assistance of three representatives from the Purchasing Division (Jo Ann Dunlap, Administration Unit Manager; Curt Curtiss, Acquisitions and Contract Administration Director; and Dick Estill, Purchasing Buyer) and five agency procurement officers (Doug Knorr, WVU; Stephanie Smith, Marshall University; Greg Nicholson, Department of Health & Human Resources; Bob Bragg, Division of Highways; and Lendin Conway, Division of Environmental Protection). The topics discussed included vendor registration, the bid and award process, the Purchasing Card Program, and agency purchases.

"We are very pleased with not only the success of this teleconference, but how we were able to use satellite technology to reach out to a large number of state businesses at the same time," Tincher said. After some editing, the presentation will be available on videotape for future use to encourage state businesses to pursue state government business.

*Source: TEAM automated purchasing system

Back to the Top


The Director's Comments
The Purchasing Card Program

By Dave Tincher
Purchasing Director

The Purchasing Division offers a variety of programs and services; however, the program which stands out as the most positively received, especially by the vendor community, is the Purchasing Card Program. There is a good reason for its popularity — businesses get quick payment for the goods and services rendered.

Currently, the state has issued nearly 1,000 purchasing cards which authorizes employees to make purchases of $500 or less per transaction. The dollar volume for this program is averaging over $500,000 monthly, which is approximately 25% of what this program is expected to reach once fully implemented statewide.

An extensive training initiative for this program has progressed since the initial 10 agencies kicked off the pilot program in October of 1996. Currently, 70 agencies are now participating.

The days of waiting for the `check in the mail' are long gone as it pertains to payments to vendors doing business with the state. The Purchasing Card Program has proved that government can work efficiently and expediently by implementing innovative programs to benefit the state and its business partners.

Back to the Top

Procurement Officer of the Year Award Planned to Continue in 1998

Recognizing excellence in public purchasing was the motto behind the development of the Purchasing Division's "Agency Procurement Officer of the Year" program. This award honors one individual who works in public procurement and attains certain quality characteristics, such as high performance, valuable experience, enhanced training efforts, cooperative nature, and positive image.

Edi Barker of the Bureau of Employment Programs was the first recipient of this recognition in 1996. This spring, Susie Teel, who at the time worked for the Division of Environmental Protection but has since transferred to the Department of Health & Human Resources, was selected as the 1997 Agency Procurement Officer of the Year. Who will be next year's recipient? This award is presented each year at the Purchasing Division's spring agency purchasing conference. The 1998 spring conference will be held at Canaan Valley State Resort & Conference Center on May 4 through 7, 1998.

A special mailing with the nomination form will be distributed in early 1998 to agency procurement officers. Start thinking of individuals who demonstrate high quality performance in the purchasing profession. More details will be reported soon on the nomination procedures in The Buyers Network!

Back to the Top

Purchasing Division's ODDS & ENDS

Reminder...State agencies are required to have all of their fixes assets entered into the WVFIMS Fixed Assets System for reportable equipment with an acquisition cost of $1,000 or more.

For more information regarding this requirement, please contact Jo Ann Dunlap, Administration Unit Manager, at 558-0059.

Training continues on the WVFIMS Purcahse Order Module, which allows for the centralized tracking of payments on purchase orders within the West Virginia Financial Information Management System (WVFIMS).

The Department of Administration's Accounting Section, the Division of Enironmental Prection, the Governor's Office, Criminal Justice & Highway Safety, and Tourism have all received formal training.

Back to the Top


It's a Dirty Job, But Somebody's Has To Do It...
Moving Required Patience and Some Elbow Grease

For many of the Purchasing Division staff, the week of October 6th was spent packing and unpacking boxes. But...we are finally ready to welcome our customers to our new office space on Washington Street, East, one block from the State Capitol Building.

Please make note of our Division's new mailing address:

WV Purchasing Division
State Capitol Complex
2019 Washington Street, E.
P.O. Box 50130
Charleston, WV 25305-0130

All telephone and fax numbers have remained the same.

Our new location includes a conference room for bid openings and other meetings, and an enhanced TEAM Training Facility. Please feel free to stop by and visit our new offices.

Back to the Top

THANK YOU...for Responding to our Conference Survey

A special thank you to those who completed the survey for our upcoming state purchasing conference. Your feedback will be helpful in selecting workshop topics and the program format. Our next conference will be at Canaan Valley State Resort & Conference Center on May 4 through 7, 1998.

Back to the Top


MoneyWise...Tips for the Thrifty

Check the Per-Ounce Cost

Shoppers often purchase a large container of a food product (even if they can't use it for some time) because they are convinced they pay less per ounce than they would for a smaller size. But a study published by the Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Letter shows that larger sizes in several types of products often cost more per ounce. These products included certain brands of tuna, ketchup, vegetable oil, peanut butter, preserves, frozen juice, tomato sauce, and breakfast foods.

Back to the Top

Fleet Conference Offers Two-Way
Feedback with Agency Coordinators

Over 100 fleet coordinators for state agencies attended the second annual "Fleet Management Conference" on October 1st in South Charleston. According to Purchasing Director Dave Tincher, the conference focused on educating the participants on fleet issues; however, the state's fleet management team also gained great insight from the coordinators as to how the fleet program would be enhanced.

"We are always exploring new ways of managing the state's fleet," Tincher said. "We need this two-way exchange in order to continue to make positive changes."

State Fleet Manager Ken Miller explained that the state's centralized fleet was legislatively created in 1991 to provide transportation services to all executive branch agencies, with exception of a few agencies that have received Legislative approval to maintain their own fleet. "Because of the number of vehicles we manage, we are able to use that volume to obtain better services for our money and to obtain financing for new vehicles," Miller said.

Currently, the fleet policy requires that agencies retire their vehicles after five years of use or 100,000 miles; however, Miller indicated that these terms are being reviewed. "We would like to see agencies retire their vehicles earlier for both safety reasons and for increased resale gain," he said.

Other speakers at the conference included Ron Price, Purchasing Senior Buyer who has responsibility for bidding the statewide contract for motor vehicles and police cruisers; Janice Boggs, State Fleet Assistant; Greg McIntyre, Vice President of PHH Vehicle Management Company; Debbie Pierson, State Accounting Section; and David White, West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property.

"Most of the audience for this conference were familiar faces," Miller said. "Because we frequently deal with many of these people individually, they felt comfortable asking questions and raising some valid points which we must now take back with us and evaluate their feasibility. We need this input from the agency coordinators so that we may continue to maintain the high quality of the state fleet program."

Back to the Top

What is a Direct or Sole Source Purchase?
Be Cautious in Determining if Competition Exists

Direct — or sole source — purchases are those items which perform a certain function for which no other items are known to exist. These purchases require considerable attention.

Only two situations lend themselves to sole source purchasing. One is a patented, copyrighted or franchised (proprietary) product. The other is for a truly superior product which is not available from other sources.

For example, consider a proprietary situation where your agency owns equipment requiring the use of a certain brand and type of patented lubricant. Use of any other brand or type of lubricant would void the warranty. The lubricant is only available from the franchised dealer who sells the lubricant at an escalated price. You have no other choice but to enter into a sole source or direct purchase.

In the case of a superior product, for instance, you have been using a brand and type of photographic film in an expensive and unique x-ray machine. You have experimented with other film, but you just do not get the needed results with other film. Again, you are paying a premium price for the film you are currently using. Again you have no other choice but to make a sole source purchase.

But let's use a different example. You have a duplicating machine that uses a paper that gets good results. You are satisfied with the price you pay. The dealer gives good service. You are happy with the arrangement. Other dealers claim to have just as good of paper and service. You have been reluctant to try the other sources. But you must competitively bid. Why? It is more cost-effective and, most importantly, it is the law!

If you have doubts that a sole source situation exists, then you must use competitive bid procedures to test the market. If only one bid is received, you can be relatively sure that competition does not exist.

When requesting a direct purchase, prepare a written justification stating factually why no other items are known to exist. Direct purchases require considerable attention.

Back to the Top

Questions Could Be Answered In-House

Got a question about vendor registration? Ask your agency's procurement officer first. Many of the guidelines and procedures are outlined in a booklet which was distributed at the state purchasing conference. Although not every individual in each agency has access to the TEAM automated purchasing system, most likely the agency procurement officer does have this access.

What information does TEAM offer? This system provides all information regarding requisitions, purchase order and registered vendors. If you need to know if a vendor is properly registered with the State Purchasing Division, ask your procurement officer to access TEAM to find out this information.

If the vendor is in the system, but has not paid the appropriate $45 annual fee or has reached $1,000 in purchase orders without paying the fee, this vendor will be tagged as `on hold'. This vendor may not receive any purchase orders until the fee has been received and processed.

If you need access to TEAM, please contact Dan Miller, Automation Manager, at 558-2314.

Back to the Top

NIGP Sponsors Scholarship Fund

The West Virginia Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) is sponsoring a fundraiser for the `Howard Skidmore Scholarship Fund', which is dedicated in the memory of a procurement officer from the Division of Environmental Protection.

According to Angela White-Negley, Chapter Vice-President, the chapter will be selling cookbooks, "Recipes from the Heart", which promote family mealtime traditions. The cookbooks, which contain over 200 recipes, cost $10. The proceeds will go to the scholarship fund which will assist active members in participating in NIGP educational seminars or conferences. For more details, call White-Negley at (304) 558-0530.

Mark your calendars! The next NIGP meeting will be held December 3rd at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. For additional information, call Skip Amole, Chapter President, at 759-0510.

Back to the Top

Governor Appoints Joseph Markus Administration Cabinet Secretary

Gov. Cecil H. Underwood appointed Joseph Markus as cabinet secretary for the Department of Administration, effective October 1st. His selection was based on Markus' business accomplishments in the private sector. He will be replacing Jim Teets who became the Governor's Chief of Staff on September 2nd.

"The Department of Administration is one of the most critical operations in state government and I believe we must have qualified, capable leadership in that department," Gov. Underwood said. "Joe Markus has distinguished himself as an able executive and administrator in his work in the private sector, and he will be a great asset to state government." The Purchasing Division is organizationally structured under the Department of Administration.

Secretary Markus served as president and chief executive officer of Sturm Engineering Products in Barboursville from 1993 to 1996. He also held executive positions with several other companies nationwide.

His direction for the Department targets increased efficiencies with continued valued service to our customers. Three high priority areas include consolidation of statewide services, security at the State Capitol Complex, and customer satisfaction.

"I would like to see further consolidation of statewide services that are provided by a multitude of agencies, both in-house and out-of-house," he said. An example is the Consolidated Publishing Facility (CPF), which was created to bring together various agencies' print shops in order to offer better quality and service. On December 31st, the Division of Personnel's print shop will close with their staff and equipment moving to CPF. Markus indicated that other areas, which may also benefit from consolidation, will be pursued.

In regard to safety, Markus has met with legislators as well as other state officials concerning improving security at the Capitol.

Enhancing our service to our customers is yet another priority issue. "We have two sets of customers; one is our constituents, such as vendors and the public, and the other essentially is the entire state government," Markus said. "We have to work at meeting the needs of both of these entities in a cost efficient manner."

Back to the Top


Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as of October 16, 1997) included in this Current Statewide Contract Update are subject to change. If you need additional information, please contact the appropriate state buyer.

Contracts Awarded

Contract: TEMP
Description: Temporary Services
File: 22
Effective Date: 11/01/97
Vendor: Various Vendors

Contract: PC
Description: Police Cruisers
File: 33
Effective Date: 10/14/97
Vendor: Dils Motors, R.H. Peters

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: EL-TOOLS
Description: Portable Electric Handtools
File: 22
Bid Opening: 07/02/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: MH-TOOLS
Description: Mechanic Handtools
File: 22
Bid Opening: 07/02/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: SAFETY
Description: Safety Equipment
File: 22
Bid Opening: 12/03/97
Under Evaluation: To Be Opened

Contract: FLOORPAD
Description: Floor Buffing Pads
File: 22
Bid Opening: 12/03/97
Under Evaluation: To Be Opened

Contract: IV/SOL
Description: I.V. Solutions and Accessories
File: 31
Bid Opening: 09/17/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: C-PIPE
Description: Corrugated Pipe
File: 33
Bid Opening: 09/10/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: R-SHEET
Description: Reflective Sheeting
File: 33
Bid Opening: 09/16/97
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: ALUM
Description: Aluminum Coil and Flat Sheets
File: 33
Bid Opening: 09/16/97
Under Evaluation: To Be Opened

Contract: A/E FILTERS
Description: Filters: Oil, Air & Fuel
File: 33
Bid Opening: 12/17/97
Under Evaluation: To Be Opened

Contracts Renewed

Contract: DISKETTE
Description: Computer Diskettes
File: 21
Effective Date: 10/31/97
Vendor: G.I. Tech

Contract: ISC57369
Description: Disaster Recovery Services
File: 21
Effective Date: 10/31/97
Vendor: IBM

Contracts Extended

Contract: SAT
Description: Satellite Transponder Services
File: 21
Expiration Date: 08/14/98
Vendor: Keystone

Contract: FOOD
Description: Canned Foods and Staple Groceries
File: 42
Expiration Date: 11/30/97
Vendor: Standard Foods

Contracts to be Reviewed


Modular Systems Furniture

Cereal Breakfast Foods

Desktop Calculators

Sanitary Paper Supplies

Lawn Maintenance Equipment


Catheters and Related Items

Chemical Glassware

Computer/Word Processing Furniture

Ostomy Products and Accessories

Purchasing Division Buying Staff
For questions concerning these contracts listed, please contact the appropriate buyer:

File 21
Pam Jones

File 22
Jim Jackson

File 31
Charlyn Miller

File 33
Ron Price

File 41
Evan Williams

File 42
Dick Estill

Back to the Top

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 proeprty is available? ... If you need information concerning any function within the Purchasing Division, complete the form below:



E-Mail Address:


Need Information About:

Back to the Top


Thank You for Viewing our November Online Issue of
The Buyers Network. Please Visit Us Again Soon!