The Buyers Network

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 March 1999 Issue
of the The Buyers Network!

Articles in this Issue:

WVFIMS PO Encumbrance Module Progressing Smoothly

Monthly Training Sessions Scheduled for State Purchasing Card Program

The Director's Comments: OPEN FORUM: Let's Talk About the Issues

An Open YOU!

Changes to Buyer File Numbers and Bid Opening Times Noted

It's Plain and Simple...Don't Backdate Purchasing Documents

The Travel Bag: Tips from the State Travel Management Office

SPOTLIGHTING...Statewide Contracts

State Travel Management Office Clarifies New Per Diem Rates

Meet Our New Employees! Purchasing Welcomes Kelli and Pat

Procedures Clarified for Data Processing and Legal Services

Browser Beat...A Guide to Our Website

Agency Representatives Assist in the 1999 Vendor Conference

State Public Auction Notice

AUTHORIZATION: Who Can Sign for Surplus Property?

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask Us!

Additional Agency Training Scheduled
                  WVFIMS PO Encumbrance Module
                           Progressing Smoothly

"This has been a difficult process, but has progressed much smoother than expected," according to Jo Ann Dunlap, Administration Unit Manager. She is referring to the implementation of the WVFIMS Purchase Order Encumbrance Module, which all state agencies were trained and required to use beginning May 1, 1998.

The success of this program is attributed to the cooperative effort among the Purchasing Division, State Auditor's Office, Information Services & Communications Division and the Financial Reporting & Accounting Section of the Finance Division. Dunlap added that all agencies have complied with this implementation with few problems.

The WVFIMS Purchase Order Encumbrance Module is an electronic accounting system posting payments and changes to all encumbered purchase orders. The system maintains a single reconciled balance for each purchase order for the State Auditor's Office and the agencies. The statutory implementation of this system addressed the need for a global posting and tracking system of encumbered purchase orders.

Additional training sessions are currently being scheduled for early spring for those agencies which have new employees responsible for this function or those employees who have already received training but need additional instruction. Agencies will be notified of scheduled training dates; however, questions may be directed to Jo Ann Dunlap at (304) 558-0059 or Lisa Comer at (304) 558-2261, ext. 163.

Minimal problems have been experienced with original generation encumbrances; however, some agencies have had problems with Type 1 and Type 2 adjustments:

w Type 1 "Accounting Adjust-ments" go directly to the Auditor's Office [org 1200] along with any supporting documents. Agencies can also execute a Type 1 adjustment changing the vendor's "remit to" address as long as the vendor's FEIN is unchanged;

w Type 2 "Contract Change Order" is supported by a purchase order change order and submitted to the Purchasing Division [org 0200] for processing and/or encumbrance.

This project is complete with the exception of multi-year contracts which were in effect prior to the module implementation. The best manner to address this issue is being considered so agencies may include them on the PO Encumbrance Module. More information will be distributed to state agencies later this spring.

"Through the effort of all state agencies, this program has succeeded in that it has been implemented for the benefit of state government," Dunlap said. "It has provided the necessary financial accounting for the state of West Virginia."

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Monthly Training Sessions Scheduled for
State Purchasing Card Program

Ptrain.gif (320724 bytes)The Purchasing Division has joined efforts with the State Auditor's Office and Information Services & Communications Division in conducting State Purchasing Card training sessions the last Friday of every month at 1:00 p.m. in the Purchasing Division's conference room.

Jack MacDonald of the State Auditor's Office and Curt Curtiss, Director of the Acquisition & Contract Administration Section, are pictured leading the first training session in January. To register for the next session on March 26, contact Sue Smith at (304) 558-2306.

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The Director's Comments

         OPEN FORUM: Let's Talk About the Issues

By Dave Tincher
Purchasing Director

Purchasing Director Dave TincherAgency procurement officers have often requested an opportunity to meet and discuss certain issues with me and other members of our staff. Although the Purchasing Division maintains an open door policy, the days often get overscheduled with meetings and other engagements.

During the month of April, every Wednesday has been set aside for an open forum to discuss any purchasing-related issue. From 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon in the Purchasing Division's con-ference room, procurement officers and any other interested agency personnel are invited to stop by and express their views or ask questions. Purchasing Division staff will attend to assist in the discussion. This forum will focus on agency concerns, not vendor issues. See the insert for the particular topics which will be highlighted each week during April.

I hope you plan to attend these sessions and encourage your co-workers to join us as well. Please note there is no registration for attendance.

An Open YOU!

Mark your calendars!...Open meetings will be held with Purchasing Director Dave Tincher and other staff members of the Purchasing Division from 11:00 to 12:00 noon in April. No registration required. The dates and suggested topics are listed below:

April 7  Paying with Plastic...How's It Working?
State Purchasing Card

Grab your Board and Surf our Website!
Purchasing Division's Website

April 14  From Accordian Files to Zip Disks, the OFFICE98 Contract Has Changed How We Get our Supplies
OFFICE98 Statewide Contract
April 21 Purchasing Agents are from Mars. Vendors are from Venus...How to Successfully Communicate our Needs?
Vendor Relations, Protests and AppealProcess, Marketing West Virginia Vendors
April 28 Can it Really Happen? Making 'The Process' Simpler and Faster
Professional and Business Services, Request for Proposals

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Changes to Buyer File Numbers and
Bid Opening Times Noted

  Buyer File Identification Numbers and Bid Opening Times Change

In last month's issue of The Buyers Network, the change in commodity responsibilities and reporting structure was reported. A team approach has been implemented, providing more opportunities for cross-training and sharing of resources.

As a result of this reassignment, the buyer file identification numbers have also changed. Below are the new file numbers for the Purchasing Division's buying staff:

File 21 Charlyn Miller
File 22 Pam Jones
File 31 Evan Williams
File 33 John Johnston
File 41 Ron Price
File 42 Jim Jackson

In addition to the change in buyer file identification numbers, the dates and times of the bid openings have also changed. Each 'team' will conduct their bid openings on a particular day; however, all openings will be held at 1:30 p.m.

Team One, led by Buyer Supervisor Ron Price, will conduct bid openings on Wednesdays. Buyers under this 'team' include Charlyn Miller, Pam Jones and John Johnston.

Team Two, led by Buyer Supervisor Evan Williams, will conduct bid openings on Tuesdays. Jim Jackson is part of Team Two.

According to Curt Curtiss, Director of the Acquisitions & Contract Adminstration Section, the time has been changed to 1:30 p.m. for both teams as a response to late bids arriving due to various courier services' schedules. "We wanted to work with the vendors in addressing the problem they have been experiencing in regard to delivery of their bids on time. By changing the bid opening times to later in the afternoon, this problem should be resolved," he said.

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It's Plain and Simple...
    Don't Backdate Purchasing Documents

All agreements, many change orders and other documents require an effective date, at which time the vendor may begin to supply the commodities and/or services as specified. The West Virginia Code, 5A-3, requires the Purchasing Division to authorize purchases on behalf of state agencies, and the Attorney General’s office to approve those purchases as to form before the contract is legal and binding.

The Purchasing Division has recently noticed an increase of requested agreements, change orders and other documents sent to this office with an effective date several months in arrears. In fact, some of the proposed contracts, and renewal change orders actually expired before the Purchasing Division had the opportunity to review and take any action. We have learned from some vendors that verbal approval to proceed was given by agency personnel without a properly executed purchase order. Verbal authorization to provide commodities and services without a properly executive purchase order is an illegal act. The West Virginia Code, 5A-3-17, 5A-3-29, and 5A-3-31, establishes personal responsibility and penalties for noncompliance.

Effective immediately, the Purchasing Division will not accept any agreements, change orders or other documents which sets an effective date that precedes the date of arrival in the Purchasing Division by more than 20 calendar days. All documents beyond 20 days will be returned unapproved. Any exceptions must be approved by the Purchasing Director.

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State Travel Management Office
Clarifies New Per Diem Rates

Federal per diem rates were recently modified for cities within the continental United States. These rates are used by the state to base reimbursement amounts for meals.

In last month's issue of The Buyers Network, the in-state rate was inadvertently noted incorrectly. Please allow us to clarify this information:

The per diem rate for the state of West Virginia remains at $30.00, with the exception of certain counties. Morgan, Jefferson, Monongalia, Wood and Ohio counties have increased their per diem rates to $34.00. Kanawha County's rate is the highest at $38.00.

To view the per diem rates for other cities in the United States, you may access the Travel Management Office's website at If you have any questions regarding these rates or reimbursement for meals during business travel, please contact Catherine DeMarco, State Travel Manager, at (304) 558-2613.

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         Tips from the State Travel Management Office

Airline Seating

It's nice to have an empty airline seat next to yours. The editor of Travel Smart newsletter recommends booking an aisle seat in the center section of a wide-bodied plane. Middle seats are the last to be filled in that section.

Internet Travel

What destinations do travelers book via the Internet? Below is a list of the MSN Expedia's top 10 cities booked using the Internet from September 15 through October, 1998:

w    New York
w   San Francisco
w   Washington, D.C.
w   Seattle/Tacoma, Washington
w   Los Angeles
w   Boston
w   Atlanta
w   Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
w   Denver

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                      Statewide Contracts

Editor's Note: Each month, The Buyers Network will be highlighting a statewide contract. This information may be helpful to you in making the appropriate contacts to the vendor or determining the types of products and services available on the contract.

Statewide Contract for Envelopes

Miami Systems Corporation
Parkway Center Acacia Building
Suite 04
Pittsburgh, PA 15220

(412) 921-7133

Contract Period
July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999

[Limited to two one-year renewals]

Products Available

Plain white woven
Rag Bond
Recycled Paper

Styles available in various sizes, openings (open end and open side), and windows.

Typesetting fees are $5.00 per job.

Delivery will be made within 30 days after receipt of order. Prices are FOB destination with all freight charges included in the price.

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Meet our New Employees!

                Purchasing Welcomes Kelli and Pat

New.gif (287046 bytes)As part of our 'new employee' initiation, the Purchasing Division enjoys officially introducing them in The Buyers Network. In the spirit of tradition, let's meet Kelli Doyle (left) and Pat Loudin. Kelli is an Information Systems Assistant for the Automation Unit of the Administrative Services Section. Pat is an Office Assistant for the Acquisitions & Contract Administration Section. Let's welcome them to the world of state purchasing!

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Purchasing Procedures Clarified for
Data Processing and Legal Services

Effective January 22, 1999, Section 11 (Special Procedures and Exemptions) has been revised in the most recent version of the Agency Purchasing Manual, dated July 1, 1998. Procedures in processing purchases relating to data processing equipment and software have been clarified as follows:

The West Virginia Code, 5-IB-4(a)(3), requires that the Chief Technology Office (CTO), in conjunction with the Information Services & Communications Division (IS&C) of the Department of Administration, review and approve all data processing procurements for state agencies. State agencies may process computer hardware, software and consulting services with an estimated value of less than $10,000 without CTO approval, but must provide copies of agency purchase orders to the CTO upon request.

All purchases of computer hardware, software and consulting services in excess of $10,000 must have prior approval of the CTO's office before it can be processed. Such proposed purchases must be submitted to IS&C for review and evaluation, and the results will be forwarded to the CTO's office for final approval. Computer hardware and software standards are posted on the state web page.

In addition to data processing procedures, the exception of legal services from the formal, competitive bidding and approval process has been included and the procedures defined. The procedures read:

Agencies should solicit competition pursuant to normal purchasing guidelines for legal services under $10,000. For such services over $10,000, agencies should solicit proposals directly. Formal bidding by the Purchasing Division is not required. After review of all proposals, agencies should send the proposals, award recommendation and signed, completed Agreement (WV-48) to the Purchasing Division for review and, if approved, for formal award processing prior to commencement of service. Note: The Attorney General's Office must approve all legal service contracts regardless of the amount.

It is important that the revised pages to the manual have been forwarded to all agency procurement officers and support staff for inclusion in their copy of the Agency Purchasing Manual.

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Agency Representatives Assist in the
1999 Vendor Conference

Abc.gif (19743 bytes)With the help from several agency representatives, the 1999 Vendor Purchasing Conference will be packed full of good information and valuable networking.

Targeting West Virginia vendors, this training will be held May 17-19, 1999 at Canaan Valley State Resort & Conference Center. In addition to Purchasing Division staff, representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Employment Programs, Division of Environmental Protection, Department of Health & Human Resources, Division of Highways, Division of Natural Resources-Tourism, and the West Virginia State Police will also be actively involved.

Individual workshops will be offered, including: Getting Started, Formal Bid Process, Bid Evaluation and Award Process, Purchasing Division's Website, Agency Delegated Purchasing Process (panel discussion) and What's the Problem? (open question and answer session).

"This training will offer West Virginia businesses the information they need to be competitive in marketing to state government agencies," said Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "By encouraging business with our resident vendors, we are helping to boost the economy of the state of West Virginia."

In addition to the workshop sessions, one-on-one consultations will be incorporated in the conference. Vendors may schedule 15-minute meetings with any Purchasing employee or agency representatives to discuss business opportunities or to ask questions relating to their particular market.

We need your help! The Purchasing Division would like to encourage state agencies to assist us in spreading the news about the 1999 Vendor Purchasing Conference in May. You may direct their questions to our conference coordinators, Diane Holley (558-0661) or Debbie Watkins (558-3568).

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Information on our Website

Editor’s Note: Each month, the Purchasing Division’s website will be highlighted to keep our readers better informed on information which may be accessed online. Questions relating to our website may be directed to our webmasters, Dan Miller (558-2314 or and Diane Holley (558-0661 or

Have you read the latest issue of the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin? You can, but it's on the Intranet, not Internet. For those state employees who have access to the state's server, you can access the Purchasing Bulletin by typing the following address: This is the address for the main site for the Purchasing Division on the state's Intranet. You may access a variety of information aside from the latest issue of the Purchasing Bulletin, including frequently used purchasing forms, staff e-mail addresses, information on statewide contracts, issues of The Buyers Network, and our Purchasing Jeopardy game.

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               Who Can Sign for Surplus Property?

According to eligibility requirements, when purchasing items at the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property, only those individuals authorized on the Application for Eligibility may sign for the purchases.

However, if an authorized person cannot physically be present at Surplus Property at the time of purchase, he or she may authorize a representative to sign for that one-time purchase. Surplus Property Manager Ken Frye cautions agencies that proper authorization must be present or no sale can be made.

When authorizing another person (who is not included on the Application for Eligibility) to sign for purchases, a letter must be provided on your agency's letterhead. See the template letter below which offers the pertinent information necessary for signature authority:

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is authorizing _________, a representative of ______________ to procure property from WV Surplus Property on __________, 1999 and to sign necessary documentation to secure payment for said property and to commit the organization to all terms, reservations, and restrictions applying to property obtained through WV Surplus Property.


Questions regarding authorization procedures should be directed to Surplus Property at 766-2626.

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State Public Auction Notice

The public is invited to attend a public auction at the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 6, 1999 at 2700 Charles Avenue in Dunbar. For additional information, please call 766-2626. Inspection of property is conducted the week prior to the sale.

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Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as February 14, 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: TAGS
Identification Tags

Advanced Information Management
Effective Date:

Contract: SYSFURN
Modular Furniture
Contemporary Galleries, Capitol Business, Contract Business, Steelcase, CF, Wheeling Typewriter Office, Access Systems
Effective Date:

Contract: LWN-MTN
Description: Lawn Maintenance Equipment
Crede Tractor Sales
Effective Date:

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: LIGHT
Lighting; Bulbs
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: TCONES
Traffic Cones & Flags
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: SAFETY
Safety Equipment
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: FASTEN
Fasteners and Accessories

Bid Opening: 03/01/99
Under Evaluation:
To Open

Contract: PAINT
Paint and Supplies
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: RCYLTN
Remanufacure of Laser Toner Cartridges

Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: BEDDING
Mattresses, Box Springs, and Pillows
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:
To Open

Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: SAN-PAP
Sanitary Paper Supplies
Phillips Supply
Expiration Date:

Contract: HOUSE
Housekeeping Materials
Expiration Date:

Contract: ALUM
Aluminum Coil
Rocal Inc.
Expiration Date:

Contracts to be Extended

Contract: COPIER
American Office, Xerox, Sharp, Minolta, Arrons Products, Canon, Pitney Bowes
Extended Until:

Contracts to be Reviewed


Single Audit Services

Travel Management Charge Card

Guardrail and Posts

Coaxial Cable (A)

Computer Paper


Bar Soap

Water Treatment Chemicals



Spark Plugs: Auto and Equipment

Breakfast Foods

Laundry Materials

Hand Tools

Liquid Spills

Purchasing Division Staff

For questions concerning these contracts listed, please contact the appropriate buyer:

File 21
Charlyn Miller

File 22
Pam Jones

File 31
Evan Williams

File 33
John Johnston

File 41
Ron Price

File 42 
Jim Jackson

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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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Thank You for Viewing our March 1999 Online Issue of
The Buyers Network. Please Visit Us Again Soon!