Diane Holley, Editor

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

Welcome to the April 1998 Issue of The Buyers Network!


DHHR Staff Receives Training on Entering
Small Dollar Purchases into TEAM System

Conference Registration Forms To Be Submitted by April 17th

The Director's Comments
Maintaining Ethical Standards in Spending Limited State Dollars

Question of the Month

What Happens if You Wreck a State Leased Vehicle?

Why a Code of Ethics?

Travel Management Office Offers
Additional Training to State Agency Coordinators

Quick Travel Facts

Celebration of Earth Day

Nominations Due April 17th for the
1998 Procurement Officer of the Year Award

Deadline Set for Vehicle Orders

Purchasing Card Update

MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thifty

Current Statewide Contract Update


DHHR Staff Receives Training on Entering
Small Dollar Purchases into TEAM System

The Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) recently received training designed to facilitate their use of the TEAM automated purchasing system.

The classes focused on many aspects of the TEAM system. These components included: TEAM General Inquiry; Requisition Coding & Entry; Requisition Approval; Requisition to PO Processing; and Receipt Posting.

The sessions included people with different levels of knowledge of TEAM. Jo Miller of Support Services, who has been doing requisition entry and general inquiry in TEAM for several years, said, "I learned some short cuts and new functions." Nancy Young of Financial Services, who is an experienced user of WVFIMS, but new to TEAM, said, "The use of TEAM as a vehicle for purchasing is very helpful."

DHHR began using TEAM to make agency-level purchases for their central offices in February. At that time, they began using the Requisition Signature Approval module of TEAM for all requisitions that require processing by the Purchasing Division.

The Requisition Signature Approval module provides a means for agencies to route requisitions electronically to a specified approver.

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Registration materials for the 1998 Spring Purchasing Conference are now available!

The conference will be held May 18th through 20th at Canaan Valley State Resort & Conference Center in Davis, West Virginia.

With a reduced fee of $75, this year's conference is expected to bring a wealth of information to agency procurement officers and their support staff. Targeting solely purchasing-related issues, the workshops will address such areas as fixed assets, fleet management, request for proposals, information technology contracts, statewide contracts, the purchase order encumbrance module... and so much more!

For those state employees who are new to government purchasing, a special workshop is being offered which will be helpful in learning how public purchasing works.

Also, don't forget our Purchasing Jeopardy workshop which will incorporate fun into the learning process. If your agency would like to sign up as a team (three people to a team), contact Diane Holley at (304) 558-0661.

Registration is required. Please return your Conference Registration Form to Debbie Watkins no later than April 17th. Since class size is limited, those returning their forms early will be registered first for the workshops of their choice. Please note that the conference participants must make their own lodging arrangements.

Don't miss out on this excellent learning opportunity for you and your staff!

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Maintaining Ethical Standards in Spending Limited State Dollars

By Dave Tincher
Purchasing Director

As public procurement officers, our role is to ensure that the state of West Virginia is purchasing products and services used in the operation of public programs and services in the most effective and efficient method available.

Public purchasing is not easy. Not only do we have difficult jobs, but we must follow certain guidelines to which many private sector purchasing agents may not be constricted.

The West Virginia Code guides us as to what we can and cannot do. It also instructs us that we must solicit competitive bids, whenever possible, in order to best utilize taxpayers' dollars.

Since we have the responsibility for making state purchases, our ethical standards must be high and above the norm. The Purchasing Division follows the Code of Ethics created by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), which is included in this issue on page three.

Also included is an article which explains the importance of our ethical responsibilities.

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When soliciting bids under Agency Delegated Purchasing procedures, what do I do if two of the bids are identical in price?

Occasionally, a number of vendors may offer the same price or amount for a product or service, thus, resulting in a tie bid. If multiple awards are not made, then the tie bid(s) must be resolved. The preferred method for resolving tie bids is the flip of a coin, draw of a card, or any other impartial method.

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What Happens if You Wreck a State Leased Vehicle?

You are driving along doing your job when a car from nowhere runs into your state leased vehicle. It definitely has the ingredients for a bad day all around, but what do you do first?

Within 24 hours of the accident, the driver must complete a Motor Vehicle Accident Report (RMI-1) and forward with one copy of the completed form to the Fleet Management Office.

The agency should quickly obtain two estimates to repair the vehicle and send to Fleet Management. After receipt of the form and estimates, Fleet Management will work directly with the Board of Risk & Insurance Management (BRIM). Fleet Management will review the documents and notify the agency's fleet coordinator as to where the vehicle is to be repaired.

The procedures on payment of the repair vary depending upon the cost of the estimate:

Less than $500
After the repairs have been made, the vendor making the repairs should forward the invoice directly to Fleet Management.

$500 to $2,500
Fleet Management will work with the insurance company to ensure that the vendor making the repairs gets paid and the vehicle is back on the road as soon as possible.

More than $2,500
Our insurance company will send an adjustor; therefore, there is no need to obtain estimates.

All vehicles have a $500 deductible with the exception of 3/4 ton vehicles or larger. These vehicles have a $1,000 deductible.

Whenever the repairs are complete, the driver must notify either the Fleet Management's Office or the agency's fleet coordinator. This notification is required for the vendor to get his payment. For more information, call the Fleet Management Office: Ken Miller, Manager, 558-2614; or Janice Boggs, Fleet Assistant, at 558-0086.

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Why a 'Code of Ethics'?

Maintaining High Professional Standards in Purchasing

By Garth M. Stiebel, CPPB
Supervisor of Purchasing
Wellington County Board of Education
Guelph, Ontario

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from an article which appeared in the November/December 1997 NIGP Technical Bulletin. Used by permission.

When it comes right down to it, our integrity is all we have. We all have values; we create them, mostly unconsciously, as we mature. We see the world through the colored lenses of our biases and the prejudices and attitudes instilled in us from the day we were born.

What we don't do very well is elucidate the reasons behind our actions, mostly because we take it for granted that others will understand and, hopefully, agree.

However, to be believed, we must be credible. Our behavior is relevant to our values and to the extent they are recognized and identified with, so far will we be followed. There are a few elements of public procurement strategy more important than those of ethics.

In the public arena, issues of legality are often supplemented by those of morality and politics, and public buyers must be certain their actions meet the highest standards and the closest scrutiny. Many professional organizations, such as the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), have created codes of conduct for their members to follow which can be the bases for the rules and ethics governing all employees making procurement decisions in any public agency.

It seems only 'common sense' that employees entrusted with the power to spend public funds should be doing so with honor and integrity, but in the same sense as a strategic plan helps us focus on the essentials of a mission statement and supplies a template against which we judge our effectiveness, so too does a code of ethics.

It helps to be reminded to 'consider first the interest of the agency in all transactions and to carry out and believe its established policies."

Avoiding the temptation to set vendors against each other unfairly is sometimes difficult but keeps the competition on a level playing field. We are significantly different than their average private sector customer in several ways. We are held accountable for our decisions in a public focus; we owe the taxpayer an obligation to ensure fair and open competition among all qualified vendors for any given purchase; and, we are called upon to demonstrate unbiased objectivity on a daily basis. Wheeling and dealing are not options for the responsible public purchaser.

Posting a code of ethics prominently in your department can play a part in discouraging those type of suppliers from making unwelcome offers and can lead to discussions on the other differences between public and private purchasing.

What does a statement of ethics tell your staff, co-workers and your superiors? It can be the most obvious demonstration of professionalism you can exhibit, one that illustrates consistent moral behavior in a variety of situations. Reliable honest dealings with all who interact with you and irreproachable standards of integrity are characteristics of those people who influence by example and are seen as models for the rest.

At the end of the day, we must live with the results of our decisions. Leadership is talked about as an action to be done for others, but valid leadership comes from within and is self-initiating. It is doing the right thing without being told, simply because it is the right thing.

The West Virginia Purchasing Division is an active member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. and abides by the Code of Ethics which the Institute has initiated.


The Institute believes, and it is a condition of membership, that the following ethical principles should govern the conduct of every person employed by any public sector procurement or materials management organization.

  1. Seeks or accepts a position as head or employee only when fully in accordance with the professional principles applicable thereto, and when confident of possessing the qualifications to serve under those principles to the advantage of the employing organization.
  2. Believes in the dignity and worth of services rendered by the organization and the social responsibilities assumed as a trusted public servant.
  3. Is governed by the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships, in order to merit the respect and inspire the confidence of the organization and the public being served.
  4. Believes that personal aggrandizement or personal profit obtained through misuse of public or personal relationships is dishonest and not tolerable.

  5. Identities and eliminates participation of any individual in operational situations where a conflict of interest may be involved.
  6. Believes that members of the Institute and its staff should at no time or under any circumstances, accept directly or indirectly, gifts, gratuities or other things of value from suppliers.
  7. Keeps the governmental organization informed, through appropriate channels, of problems and progress of applicable operations, but personally remains in the background by emphasizing the importance of the facts.
  8. Resists encroachment on control of personnel in order to preserve integrity as a professional manager. Handles all personnel matters on a merit basis. Political, religious, racial gender and age considerations carry no weight in personnel administration in the agency being directed or served.
  9. Seeks or dispenses no personal favors. Handles each administrative problem objectively and empathetically on the basis of principles and justice without discrimination.
  10. Subscribes to and supports the professional aims and objectives of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc.

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    Opening Lines of Communication

  12. Travel Management Office Offers Additional
    Training to State Agency Coordinators

    Agency travel coordinators received additional training last month on the use of the Diners Club card, according to Catherine Bryan, State Travel Manager.

    "We wanted to familiarize our agency coordinators more with the Diners Club card and all of the features which it offers," she said. This training focused on the accounting aspect of this credit card contract.

    Bryan was joined by Maureen Garlock and Rob Dindak of Diners Club in conducting these training seminars. A review of the different accounts, such as ghost and team accounts, were explained. The coordinators were also instructed on how to read the reports created by Diners Club and their importance in managing their agency's travel expenditures.

    "By explaining the accounting process in using the card, we hope to alleviate some deliquencies in payment where Diners Club has to write off those credits. This write off is inevitably reflected in our annual incentive bonus," Bryan said. "These seminars will hopefully prevent some potential problems or misunderstandings."

    More Diners Club news...The Travel Management Office is preparing a survey which will be distributed to all state travelers. "The survey will encourage feedback on the acceptance of the Diners Club card," Bryan said. "We want to know who is having difficulty in using their card and work with the businesses to satisfy the needs of the state traveler."

    Bryan will use this information to target businesses that currently do not accept the Diners Club card. She explains that this feedback is necessary to enhance the program.

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All travel approval is made by the agency's administrative head.


Personal Vehicle: .32/mile

Courtesy Vehicle: .18/mile


Travelers may receive $30 per day with a $200 maximum in a rolling seven (7) day period. Cash advances should be obtained from an ATM, using the Diner's Club card.


Required: Airline ticket, lodging, car rental, ATM cash advances, registration, guardian travel meals, and any individual expense over $75.


All airline reservations and out-of-state hotel reservations must be made through the travel service vendor, National Travel Service, Inc.

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In Celebration of Earth Day

Our Responsibility in Conserving our Environment

The use and benefits of recycled products have been an issue which procurement officers have had to address more and more in recent years. At times, the balance of conserving our environment or conserving our budgeted dollars leaves us with some questions and concerns.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has scheduled its Thirteenth Annual Governor's Conference on Environmental Education and Litter Control for April 5-7, 1998 at the Marriott Hotel in Charleston.

The theme of the conference is "Environmental Vision for the New Millennium." Various topics relating to environmental issues will addressed. Some of the organizations scheduled to make presentations include the Division of Natural Resources - Law Enforcement; WCHS, Division of Environmental Protection, and the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center. For more information, contact the Office of Conservation Education and Litter Control at (304) 558-3370.

This conference comes at a perfect time... Later this month on the 22nd, the nation celebrates Earth Day.

(See ways you can celebrate this occasion to below)

What Can You Do to Celebrate Earth Day?

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Nominations Due April 17th for the 1998
Procurement Officer of the Year Award

Don't miss out on the opportunity to nominate an agency procurement officer for the Purchasing Division's annual recognition program. The deadline for the 1998 Agency Procurement Officer of the Year is Friday, April 17th.

Nomination forms, which were included in the February issue of The Buyers Network and also distributed to all agency procurement officers and agency directors, are available from Diane Holley at (304) 558-0661.

The announcement of the winner will be made at the 1998 Spring Purchasing Conference banquet on May 19th at Canaan Valley State Resort & Conference Center.

Why wait?...Send in your nominations today!

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Deadlines Set for Vehicle Orders

The deadline for new vehicles has been established and little time, if any, is left. According to Buyer Supervisor Ron Price, the deadline for most vehicle models from General Motor Corporation was March 13th. For the police cruisers, the deadline was extended to April 1st. Chrysler's deadline for new orders is May 1st.

"Orders for new vehicles should be submitted at least one week prior to the established dates," Price said. For additional information, please contact Ron Price at (304) 558-0492.

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Purchasing Card Update

Purchasing Card Administrator Dick Estill will be available every Tuesday and Thursday to answer questions relating to the Purchasing Card. He plans to offer training sessions on those days for agency coordinators, who are already participating, as well as for representatives from agencies that are new to the program.

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MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thrifty

How to Avoid Identity Theft

A crook who steals your identification numbers can cause you no end of trouble and financial loss. To protect yourself:

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Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as of March 16, 1998) 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: STAKES
Description: Survey Stakes and Flags
File: 22
Effective Date: 07/01/97

Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: SAN PAP
Description: Sanitary Paper Supplies
File: 22
Vendor: Philips Supply
Expiration Date: 02/28/98

Contract: OSTOMY
Description: Ostomy Products and Accessories
File: 31
Vendor: Hollister Incorporated
Expiration Date: 03/01/98

Contract: CATH
Description: Catheters and Related Items
File: 31
Vendor: C.R. Bard Incorporated
Expiration Date: 03/01/98

Contract: WELD
Description: Welding Supplies
File: 33
Vendor: Mountain States Airgas
Expiration Date: 11/30/98

Contract: N-TIRES
Description: New Tires: Auto and Equipment
File: 33
Vendor: Goodyear Tire Corporation
Expiration Date: 12/31/98

Contracts Deleted

Contract: PC KITS
Description: Personal Care Products
File: 22
Vendor: Adena Industries of Northern Panhandle, Inc. Contracts to be Reviewed


Laundry Materials

Hand Tools

Liquid Spills



Dictating Equipment

Information Processing

Temporary Personnel: Information Processing

Satellite Transponder Time

Dishwashing Materials

Wiping Cloths

Records Management Services

Lubicants and Oils

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

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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 proeprty 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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