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 July 2000 Issue of the The Buyers Network!

Articles in this Issue:

Vendor Conference Analysis Shows High Satisfaction Rate for Training Initiative

Governor Appoints Jack Buckalew to Lead the Department of Administration

Director's Comments: Measuring Performance of the State's Suppliers

Do You Have Visitors Coming to the Capitol?

Debt Management

MORE STATISTICS...on the 2nd Annual Vendor Conference

From the Vendor's Perspective...Positive Feedback from Participants!

Fiscal Year-End Closing Ends Smoothly

Approval Required for Use of Higher Ed Contracts

Surplus Property Public Auctions Announced

Standard Language Created for Clarification of Purchase Orders

Alice Thibodeaux Selected as Employee of the Month

Heather Connolly Provides Legal Assistance on Purchasing Issues

Meet our Buying Staff...John Johnston Promotes Need for Competition

Internship Program Assist Purchasing

Inventory Management Certifications are Required by Law No Later than July 15th

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask Us!

Vendors Rate Conference a Success!

Vendor Conference Analysis Shows High
Satisfaction Rate for Training Initiative

The 66 West Virginia vendors who participated in the 2nd Annual Vendor Purchasing Conference in May indicated that the event was well worth their time.

"Wow! This is my second year to attend and I am looking forward to the 3rd Annual conference," said one participant. Others described their experience as informative, enjoyable, organized, and worth the time.

According to conference evaluation forms from 62 percent of the participants attending, 100 percent of the participants rated the overall conference either excellent or good.

"It is amazing how appreciative and receptive our state vendors are to this training event," according to Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "In the past two years that we have conducted this conference, the state vendors are pleased with the effort we are making to educate them in doing business with West Virginia state government."

Our statistics show that all workshop sessions were rated either excel-lent or good. The workshop topics included bidding procedures, payment issues and our Internet site. Panel discussions with state agency representatives and vendors were also offered, as well as one-on-one consultation sessions.

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Governor Appoints Jack Buckalew to Lead
the Department of Administration

Buckalew's Swearing-In CeremonyOn May 26, Governor Cecil Underwood officially conducted a formal swearing-in ceremony for Jack Buckalew, who was appointed cabinet secretary of the Department of Administration.

Buckalew succeeded Joseph Markus, who held the position since 1997 and recently accepted a position as chief financial officer with e-Security in Florida. In January of 1999, Buckalew was appointed Deputy Secretary for the Department.

The Purchasing Division is statutorily organized under the Department of Administration.

"Jack Buckalew has contributed the past four decades to honorable public service to the state of West Virginia," said Governor Underwood. "I believe that this qualifies him to lead the Department of Administration."

Buckalew complemented his predecessor by describing his contributions as a "positive legacy" to follow. He concurred with the Governor in vowing to continue to see the $4 billion pension obligation bond proposal move forward.

"I can't promise success, but with the help of the people I work with and of God, I know we will be successful," Buckalew concluded.

As deputy secretary, Buckalew was actively involved in many aspects of the Purchasing Division, including Capitol parking. "Mr. Buckalew is very familiar with the programs and processes which are administered by the Purchasing Division," said Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "We look forward to building upon our productive working relationship to maintain the positive momentum of our Division."

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The Director's Comments
                          Measuring Performance of the State's Suppliers

By Dave Tincher
State Purchasing Director

Purchasing Director Dave Tincher Several months ago, we reported in The Buyers Network about a new purchase order evaluation mechanism which we were putting into place to measure the level of satisfaction of the goods and services which the state procures.

This project began as a pilot program with the Department of Administration. Due to the program's success, the Purchasing Division has rolled out this mechanism to all state agencies.

This process targets statewide contracts and other purchases totaling more than $250,000. A satisfaction rating is attained and used when inviting vendors and respective agencies to discuss concerns related to either a specific purchase order or the performance of the vendor.

How does this evaluation process work? A Purchase Order Response Form is sent to respective agency personnel on all purchase orders four months after the purchase order print date. This form will be requested to be completed within 14 days or one year, depending upon the type of contract or purchase order evaluated.

The data from this report is collected and recorded in a database so future queries may be made regarding the level of satisfaction of the vendor's product or service and performance.

The second part of this process begins eight months after the purchase order print date. At this time, the Purchasing Division schedules a meeting with the vendor and the respective agency personnel for all purchase orders for statewide contracts and service contracts exceeding $250,000. This meeting will focus on product quality, cost, responsiveness, market conditions, delivery, payment and strategy for improvement.

As a result of this process, we hope to acquire more data in managing state contracts, while offering a tool for improving the quality and performance of the vendors servicing the state. We hope this action will open the lines of communication among state agencies, the vendors and the Purchasing Division.

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Do You Have Visitors Coming to the Capitol?

Parking is Available at the Parking GarageWhen scheduling visitors at your agency, remember to suggest that they park at the State Capitol Parking Building, which has over 190 parking spaces allocated for visitors at the Capitol Complex. The parking building is centrally located on campus; therefore, relaying this information will be beneficial to those individuals visiting our State Capitol.

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Debt Management

How well do you manage your money? It appears that people have different ways of keeping their check books balanced, while others have basically thrown up the white flag to surrender.

In a recent poll by USA Weekend, people were asked about debt-management skills. Here are their responses:

17 percent             I can't get out of debt

20 percent             I have my ups and downs. It's precarious.

39 percent             If I have debt, I pay up on time.

23 percent             Cash only. I'm debt free!

USA Weekend

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MORE STATISTICS...on the 2nd Annual Vendor Conference

Participants of the 2nd Annual Vendor Purchasing Conference offered positive feedback on all facets of this training event, which was held at Canaan Valley State Resort and Conference Center in May.

Evaluation forms were provided to all participants in hopes of gaining valuable insight for possible areas of improvement. The chart below details the satisfaction rating for general areas, such as conference registration, reservations, accommodations, length of conference, keynote speaker, conference organization and overall opinion of conference.

Most participants heard about the conference through the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin, with several others noting the Purchasing Division's website as their source for information.

The workshop sessions also received acclaim, with no workshops receiving below a good rating, on a five-point scale. The one-on-one consultation sessions, which enabled participants to schedule 15-minute appointments with state agency representatives and the purchasing staff members, also rated extremely high.

"The evaluation forms are extremely important to us," Purchasing Director Dave Tincher said. "We can measure our approach to training to ensure that we are on track. From the responses which I have seen from this conference, it appears that we are meeting the expectations of our West Virginia vendors."

How Did Vendor Hear About the Conference?

Purchasing Bulletin                  49%

Purchasing's Website              10%

State Journal                          8%

Chamber of Commerce         5%

Other                                    28%

From the Vendor's Perspective....Positive Feedback from Participants

Here are just a few of the comments received from West Virginia vendors concerning the 2nd Annual Vendor Purchasing Conference:

* * * * *

Very nice job! I look forward to attending future conferences.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the State of West Virginia vendor conference. Not only was it informative, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Very well organized, very knowledgeable staff, very helpful information.

Thanks for inviting me. This was very beneficial.

Thank you and congratulations to you and your staff for a job well done!...I gained much knowledge from presenters about the steps involved in the competitive bid process; internal procedures, programs and regulations; and how individual state agencies operate.

This was the most valuable conference in doing business with the state of West Virginia in 22 years!

I had a wonderful time and can't wait to come again.

The conference was of tremendous value to me not only as a first-time participant, but also being a small business in Southern, West Virginia. It gave faces to names and a personal touch to doing business with the state.

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Fiscal Year-End Closing Ends Smoothly

Another fiscal year has come and gone...Goodbye to FY2000!

During these twelve months, many budgeted dollars were spent. It is during the closing of the fiscal year that several tasks must be completed in order for payments to be made on purchase orders issued by June 30.

According to Administration Unit Manager Jo Ann Dunlap, this year's process appeared to progress smoothly, attributing much of its success to informing agencies in advance as to their requirements and correcting many problem areas from last year.

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Approval Required for Use of Higher Education Contracts

In November of 1999, Purchasing Director Dave Tincher sent a memo to all state agencies addressing contracts issued by Higher Education facilities. There have been several instances of state agencies desiring to purchase commodities or services from contracts issued by Higher Education facilities. This issue is covered in West Virginia Code 5A-3-19 which states:

Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, the director may, upon the recommendation of a state spending unit, make purchases from the federal government, from federal government contracts or from the University of West Virginia Board of Trustees or Board of Directors of the State College System contracts, if available and financially advantageous.

Any agency that desires to purchase commodities or services from a Higher Education contract must submit a written request and receive approval from the Purchasing Division prior to making any commitments.

Purchases of commodities or services for which there are existing state contracts may not be approved unless circumstances are present.

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Surplus Property Public Auction Notice

The summer schedule for public auctions conducted by the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property is as follows: Saturday, July 22 and Saturday, August 26. Call 766-2626 for more details or check out the Surplus Property website at!

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Alice Thibodeaux Selected as Employee of the Month

Alice Thibodeaux is July Employee of the Month!Alice Thibodeaux, a Procurement/Accounting Officer for the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property, was selected as the July Employee of the Month for the Department of Administration. Congratulations to Alice on her dedicated service to the Department!

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Standard Language Created for
Clarification of Purchase Orders

Standard purchase order language has been created for use by the Purchasing Division buying staff in order to clarify the intent of purchasing documents, according to Purchasing Director Dave Tincher.

Purchasing's buyers will be required to use this approved verbiage when renewing, extending, cancelling and making other changes to original contracts. By establishing standard language, the vendor, agency and other entities in state government which deal with these contract will mutually understand the action to be taken.

Tincher solicited the assistance of Administration Unit Manager Jo Ann Dunlap and Assistant Director Curt Curtiss to prepare set language for the following actions:

Renewals and Extensions

Standard renewals
Renewal with increase
Renewal with decrease
Standard extension of contract
Standard extension with increase
Standard extension with decrease
Construction extension of time only
Construction extension of time and increase

Change Orders

Simple single item change
Multiple item change

"This clarification of standards is for internal use within the Purchasing Division," according to Dunlap. "We needed to create specific language to specify what category the document falls into in order to avoid confusion."

Curtiss concurred by adding that "good language prevents potential problems." To clearly specify the intent of a purchasing document deters others from assuming its purpose and possibly making an incorrect assumption. "These standards are necessary to ensure a mutual understanding of intent for agencies as well as vendors," he said.

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Heather Connolly Provides Legal Assistance on Purchasing Issues

Heather ConnollyMeet Heather Connolly, Assistant General Counsel for the Department of Administration.

Heather assists the Purchasing Division by reviewing contracts over $10,000 for all agencies within the Department, ensuring that contracts and change orders are legal and contain no inconsistencies between the master agreements and subsequent change orders.

In addition, Heather assists the Department's General Counsel John Poffenbarger with other matters, including title searches, conducting administrative hearings, assisting with Freedom of Information requests, reviewing correspondence and complaints, and providing daily legal advice.

A mother of three sons and a graduate of Bluefield State College and WVU Law School, Heather spent nearly five years in the Army Medical Corp on active duty and worked in a private law practice prior to accepting this position with the Department.

The Purchasing Division appreciates the guidance which Heather offers.

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Meet our Buying Staff...
                       John Johnston Promotes Need for Competition

Editor's Note: This publication will highlight each of our buying staff to provide information on the commodities and services which they procure and learn more about the person behind the desk.

* * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

John JohnstonA life-long resident of Charleston's West Side, John Johnston joined the buying staff of the Purchasing Division two years ago. With a variety of work experience from the private and public sector, he is primarily responsible for Division of Highway purchases, including construction and maintenance. He also purchases automobiles, aircraft, fuel, lubricants, oils, prefabricated metal, tires, and weapons.

A father of three daughters and grandfather of two granddaughters, John admits that watching his daughters play sports is his favorite hobby.

John offers some purchasing tips for our agency procurement officers:

Competition is vital, enabling you to gain the best value for your needs.

Promote good vendor relations. Treat everyone equal, simplify bid documents in their requirements, and, develop brief, accurate and concise specifications.

When sending change orders, make sure that all documents from the vendor are signed with an original signature. The process often slows down when the Purchasing staff has to go back to obtain an original signature to execute the change.

John can be reached by telephone at (304) 558-2402 or via email at

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Internship Program Assists Purchasing

Meghan NutterMeghan Nutter, a senior journalism major from West Virginia University, is working as a communications intern during this summer.

She has been busy assisting with various publications and maintaining the Division's website.

A resident of Ravenswood, Meghan said that she wanted to work in the field of journalism this summer and hopes that this internship will help her in finding a job after graduation. A big thank you to Meghan for her hard work!

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Inventory Management Certifications are
Required by Law No Later than July 15th

According to 5A-3-34 of the West Virginia Code, agencies are required to submit a certification to the Purchasing Division, ensuring that all fixed assets with an acquisition value of $1,000 have been entered into the WVFIMS Fixed Assets System.

This certification must be submitted no later than July 15th of every year. Agencies are also required to take a complete physical inventory of their fixed assets once every three years.

Recently, a memorandum was distributed to all agencies explaining this requirement, with an attached Inventory Management Certification Cover Sheet and Inventory Management Coordinator Designation Form.

Each agency is required to assign an individual who will serve as the agency’s inventory coordinator in maintaining and controlling the agency’s fixed assets.

Last fiscal year ending June 30, 1999, the value of assets in the WVFIMS Fixed Assets System was $740,221, 827.85. Statistics for the 2000 fiscal year were not calculated before this publication went to print.

When completing the certification sheet, agencies must indicate when the last physical inventory was taken of their agency-owned equipment. This information will be kept on record at the Purchasing Division.

Certifications are to be mailed to:

Jo Ann Dunlap, Manager
Administration Unit
Purchasing Division
2019 Washington Street, East
P.O. Box 50130
Charleston, WV 25305-0130

For more information, please contact Jo Ann Dunlap at (304) 558-0059.

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Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as of June 15, 2000) 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: BARSOAP
Bar Soap

Basic Supply, ICS
Effective Date:


Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: DEBT
Debt Collection
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation
: Yes

Contract: A/E BATT
Auto and Equipment Batteries
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: OIL
Lubricants and Oil
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: RE-OIL
Re-Refined Oil Products
Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation:

Contract: ENVLOP
Bid Opening: 07/11/00
Under Evaluation:


Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: DATA
Key Punch Services
Jackson County Sheltered Workshop
Effective Date:

Contract: EDMS
Electronic Document Management Systems
Albesoft, ManTech, Raytheon, Vredenburg
Effective Date:

Contract: OSTOMY
Ostomy Products and Accessories
Effective Date: 05/15/00

Contract: FUEL
Motor and Heating Fuel
File: 33
Belmont Petroleum, R.T. Rogers Oil Company, Guttman Oil, Tri-State Petroleum, Pheonix Petroleum and Petroleum Products
Effective Date:

Contract: FOOD
Canned Food and Staple Groceries
Standard Foods, Wendling
Effective Date:


Contracts to be Extended

Contract: R-SHEET
Description: Reflective Sheeting
File: 33
Extension Date: 05/01/00

Contract: G-RAIL
Guardrail and Posts
Extension Date:


Contracts to be Reviewed



Ethyl Alcohol

Temporary Services

Push Brooms


Motor Vehicles

Police Cruisers



Bottled Water

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 July Issue of The Buyers Network