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 April 2001 Issue of the The Buyers Network!

Articles in this Issue:

How Important is Service to State Agencies When Making Any Purchase?

3rd Annual Vendor Purchasing Conference Targets Educating West Virginia Businesses

Director's Comments:
Team Effort in Conducting our Training Conferences

What's State Government Buying?

What's New? Taking an Indepth Look Inside the New Purchasing Handbook

Russian Delegation Visits the Purchasing Division for Guidance on Government Procurement Policy

Have You Returned the Purchasing Handbook Questionnaire Yet?

Keeping Pace with Market Trends...What's New with Telecommunications?

Surplus Property Kicks Off its Auction Season

Purchasing Division Says Goodbye to Kelli Doyle

MONEYWISE...Tips or the Thrifty

Vendor Spotlight...Meet Our West Virginia Businesses!

Procedures on Processing Grants Modified to Address Purchasing's Involvement

Spotlighting...Statewide Contracts

Debarment List Accessible from Purchasing Division's Website

Nuts & Bolts

Value Funds...The Old Reliables

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask Us!

Aspects of Procurement
        How Important is Service to State Agencies
        When Making a Purchasing?
Very Important!

What are the principal factors which are needed for consideration when seeking appropriate service from any vendor? Two areas should be considered when evaluating a vendor for proper services, responsiveness and responsibility.

Responsiveness is how well the vendor complies with the provisions of the bid request, including the specifications, terms and conditions.

Does the vendor make a reasonable attempt to meet your actual requirements so as to maintain a foundation for competition? Absolute or precise conformity is not required in a competitive bid situation, but substantial compliance is necessary.

Responsibility relates to the capability that the vendor attains in supplying your needs. What is the character, reputation and integrity of the vendor? Other aspects which needs to be addressed include experience, past performance, business and financial abilities, skills, technical organization and reliability.

When looking for quality, service and price, consider the consequences if service is missing. It is like a link in a chain. Remove the service link or any other link for that matter and you no longer have the chain of value or the best buy.

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3rd Annual Vendor Purchasing Conference
Targets Educating West Virginia Businesses

a b c webAs the saying goes, if it isn't broken, don't fix it. The same goes true with the Vendor Purchasing Conference, sponsored by the Purchasing Division annually. This year's event, which targets West Virginia businesses, is scheduled for April 4-6, 2001 at Pipestem State Park.

The goal of this conference is to provide information and networking opportunities for our state resident vendors. In addition to the informal workshop sessions, many of which are panel discussions encouraging interaction with the audience, the conference offers one-on-one meetings with Purchasing and agency procurement officers.

In next month's issue of The Buyers Network, an overview of the conference will be included.

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The Director's Comments

Team Effort in Conducting Our Training Conferences

By Dave Tincher
State Purchasing Director

Purchasing Director Dave TincherAs each training conference which the Purchasing Division sponsors approaches, the team effort which is demonstrated among our state agency procurement officers is overwhelming.

Needless to say, it takes a monumental amount of time and energy to plan and implement a curriculum to be offered during a training conference, in addition to the logistics which are necessary, such as lodging, facilities, meals, registration...the list goes on.

In planning the 3rd Annual Vendor Purchasing Conference, we wanted to offer more panel discussions to encourage interaction between the panelists and the audience. In order to accomplish this goal, we needed to solicit the help of our agency purchasers.

I would like to acknowledge those agency representatives who will be assisting the Purchasing Division with this conference by serving on panel discussions and conducting one-on-one meetings with West Virginia businesses:

Clarence Bess, Bureau of Employ-ment Programs

Lisa Comer, State Auditor's Office

Lendin Conway, Division of Environ-mental Protection

Sue Farley, Division of Highways

Dennis Meadows, Department of Health and Human Resources

Harry Price, Division of Natural Resources

Helen Wilson, Information Services and Communications Division

These individuals are truly team players and the extra effort they have offered is greatly appreciated.

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RFP Evaluation Training
                          What's New in the Purchasing Division
                             Policies and Procedures Handbook?

Editor's Note: Each month, the Purchasing Division will highlight specific areas in The Buyers Network. For additional information, please refer to the online policies and procedures manual at

Request for Proposal Evaluation Training

The Purchasing Division has imposed a requirement that all evaluation committee members for a request for proposal must receive evaluation training prior to commencing the evaluation.

The Purchasing Division buyer will meet with the agency committee at the first evaluation meeting after the bid opening and provide committee training and general review of the proposals.

The purpose of this training is to ensure that the committee is knowledgeable of the proper evaluation procedure and the purchasing process. This training may be conducted by the Purchasing Division buying staff, by videotape presentation offered by the Purchasing Division or by agency procurement officers as determined by the Purchasing Division.

After the training, members will review all proposals independently and later meet to evaluate and assign points to each proposal. A Purchasing Division representative or agency procurement officer, at the discretion of the Purchasing Director, shall be present to observe and ensure that proper procedures are followed in the final evaluation and assignment of scores. Questions regarding this training may be directed to our buying staff.

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What's State Government Buying?

(This information is compiled from the West Virginia Purchasing Bulletin. The purpose is to provide an awareness of the variety of products and services being procured in state government. Only a small sample of solicitations are listed.)

w Regional Jail and Correctional Authority
Request to provide radio equipment maintenance for all state regional jails

w All State Agencies
Request to supply vacuum cleaners and floor buffing machines

w Health and Human Resources
Request to provide security services

w Highways
Request to provide herbicides

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Russian Delegation Visits the Purchasing Division
for Guidance on Government Procurement Policy

Purchasing Division Offers Guidance to Russian DelegationHow better for countries to initiate innovative ways to conduct business than to work together to learn what has already been implemented and works?

Government officials from Russia visited the Purchasing Division as part of a customized short-term technical assistance training program offered by the Center for International Understanding at Bluefield State College. The program included visits with state, municipal and federal government agencies to provide the Russian delegates with information on how these respective agencies perform various fiscal responsibilities, including procurement.

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

During this recent visit, the Purchasing Division staff offered an overview of the division's responsibilities and authority. Assistant Purchasing Director Curt Curtiss discussed the state purchasing process. Automation Manager Dan Miller provided an explanation of the automated purchasing system and other initiatives related to electronic communication, including the division's website. Administration Unit Manager Jo Ann Dunlap detailed the vendor registration procedures which are required by law for businesses to be awarded purchase orders in West Virginia. She also discussed fixed assets and purchase order encumbrance.

With the assistance of a Russian translator, the Purchasing staff provided valuable information to the delegation and had the opportunity to follow up on many issues due to the numerous questions received. The interest expressed from those in attendance was apparent by the active involvement by all participants.

The Purchasing Division has offered similar seminars to other countries as part of the training offered by the Center for International Understanding, including Bosnia and Slovak.

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Have You Returned the Purchasing Handbook Questionnaire Yet?

In last month's issue of The Buyers Network, a questionnaire was included concerning the new Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook. The Purchasing Division wanted to determine the opinions and level of satisfaction of our state agency purchasers in regard to this handbook.

If you have not returned your questionnaire, please do so today! For a copy of the questionnaire, please visit the March 2001 issue of The Buyers Network at our website at

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Keeping Pace with Market Trends...
      What's New with Telecommunications?

The world of telecommunications is growing faster than the click of a button. Today, advanced two-way radios allow managers to stay in touch with workers in off-site locations, weather conditions are reported immediately and call centers can service customers and workers alike with speed and accuracy. Below are just a few new tools:

The Cell-Alert AWS-2000 weather station uses new wireless data transmission technology to send digital data packets throughout North America via underutilized channels on existing cellular towers.

Bringing order and logic to call center messaging is the goal of Telescan Corp.'s Web-enabled EathNet system. EarthNet provides messaging along with automatic delivery, fax, alphanumeric paging, e-mail and voice mail. It also permits users to quickly enter messages and retrieve data from the Internet or a local network.

When managers need to keep track of employees off-site, the Motorola CDM Series of professional radios allow communication even to outlying areas. Without the costly per-minute charges of a cell phone, two-way radios can let managers stay in contact with more than 100 people at the touch of a button.

With its digital SmartWave technology, Teligent offers customers local, long-distance, high-speed data and Internet access services.

(*Used by permission: National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, The Public Purchaser)

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Surplus Property Kicks Off its Auction Season

The West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property has kicked off its 2001 public auction season. These sales are open to the public and offer a variety of merchandise at unbelievably low prices.

The next public auction scheduled by the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property is Saturday, April 7, 2001.

Don't miss out on the next opportunity to save money on good quality property! Call 766-2626 for more details or visit its website at!

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Purchasing Division Says Goodbye to Kelli Doyle

Kelli DoyleThe Purchasing Division bids farewell to Kelli Doyle who has worked in the Automation Unit for the past three years.

Effective March 1st, Kelli began working at the Division of Environ-mental Protection as a help desk analyst.

State agency purchasers have worked closely with Kelli for issues relating to the automated purchasing system, conferences, our website and other projects. Kelli will be greatly missed, but the Purchasing Division wishes her the best of luck in pursuing new career opportunities.

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Procedures on Processing Grants Modified
to Address Purchasing's Involvement

Recent modifications are being made to the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook in order to clarify procedures and to make minor corrections in the original document, which was issued December 1, 2000.

An important revision related to the procedure for state agencies issuing grants. A change in the language guiding this sole source procedure was made, with assistance from John Poffenbarger, the Department of Administration's legal counsel. The new definition follows directly with federal guidelines. The new language on grants was rewritten as follows:

State agencies shall use a grant as the legal instrument reflecting a relationship between state government and a local government or other recipient whenever:

(1) the principal purpose of the relationship is the transfer of money, property, services or anything of value to the local government or other recipient in order to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by federal and/or state statute rather than by acquisition, by purchase, lease or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the state government; and,

(2) no substantial involvement is anticipated between the executive agency acting for the state government and the local government or other recipient during the performance of the contemplated activity.

Other changes are also being made to Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook and will be detailed in our newsletter soon.

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VENDOR SPOTLIGHT: Meet Our West Virginia Businesses!

Each month, The Buyers Network familiarizes our readers with state businesses who have attended our past vendor purchasing conferences. We appreciated their participation in these training events.

Introducing Vista Promotions of Fairmont, West Virginia

Vista Promotions of Fairmont, West Virginia, offers a variety of promotional advertising products, including pens, wearables, calendars, and office products.

Owner Jim Davis indicated that his experience in marketing state government has been positive. He has conducted business with the Purchasing Division, Division of Highways and Fairmont State College.

Davis attended last year's Vendor Purchasing Conference. "The main benefit of attending was the contact with so many agency personnel," he said. "The interaction with other vendors was also beneficial."

For more information on the services offered by Vista Promotions, contact Jim Davis at (800) 988-0084 or (304) 366-9945 or via facsimile at (304) 366-1864.

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MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thrifty

Got Money?

If you are receiving a large tax refund, won the lottery, inherited money from a relative or are anticipating a large sum of money, the primary question is "What should I do with it?".

Take these practical steps when you have a financial windfall:

$ Don't touch the money for six months. Stash it in an interest-bearing money market account. Or, if you do not want to put all your unfounded money away, give yourself one percent of the cash to do with as you please. Leave the rest alone until you create a wise plan as to how to spend it.

$ Write a will. Expect the unexpected. Make sure that someone you care about gets your treasure.

$ Beef up your insurance. It is a litigious society we live in. Get umbrella liability insurance and make sure your homeowner's policy covers any new purchases for your home.

- adapted from Kiplinger's

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Statewide Contracts

Editor's Note: Periodically, 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 Audio Cassette Tapes

National Audio Co.
[Springfield, MO]

Telephone Number: 417-863-1925

Contract Period
Effective through February 14, 2002

Services Offered
This contract furnishes and delivers audio tapes and cassette to all state agencies. The types of products includes reel-to-reel broadcast quality tapes and high output (low noise) cassettes.

Purchasing Card Acceptance
National Audio Co. accepts the State Purchasing Card for payment for purchases against this contract that are less than $1,000.

Delivery Terms
All orders with a total amount of $100 or more shall be shipped FOB Destination. All orders less than $100 will be shipped FOB Shipping Point with freight charges prepaid and added to the invoice as a separate item.

Ordering Procedures
State agencies should issue a written Release Order (WV-39) to the vendor for commodities covered by this contract.

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Debarment List Accessible from Purchasing Division's Website

During last year's Regular Legislative Session, House Bill 4442 passed requiring vendors to be monitored for breach of contract, failure to pay required taxes, and federal debarment status.

This legislation, referred to as the Vendor Debarment Bill, affects those agencies which follow the state purchasing guidelines, as well as those legally exempt from our regulations.

To assist state agencies in identifying these default vendors, the Purchasing Division has included on its website a link to the Excluded Parties List System at, maintained by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for the use of Federal programs and activities.

This List of Parties is structured in accordance with a recommendation from the Interagency Committee on Debarment and Suspension.

The List of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement and Non-procurement Programs, which is issued monthly, identifies those parties excluded throughout the U.S. Government (unless otherwise noted) from receiving Federal contracts or certain subcontracts and from certain types of Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits.

Monthly hard copy subscriptions of the Lists of Parties Excluded from Federal Procurement or Non-procurement Program may be obtained by non-federal persons or organizations from the Superintendent of documents, U.S. GPO, Washington, DC 20402.

When ordering hard copies, please us the reference stock number 722-002-00000-8. The telephone number is (202) 512-1800.

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n State Purchasing Card: The final contract renewal expires on September 30, 2001. Specifications are now being reviewed.

n OFFICE-97: Final renewal with current vendor was executed. The annual item volumes for this contract are being evaluated.

n Capitol Telephone Supplement: A supplement to the 2000 Capitol Telephone Directory is available through Correctional Industries. The 2001 directory will be prepared later this year.

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Value Funds...The Old Reliables

After six years of unglamorous performance, value funds are making a comeback.

While the Nasdaq showed a significant decline between March 10 and the year end, value funds were rising significantly, more than growth funds.

Many portfolios are tilted toward growth funds, and a little rebalance is appropriate. Regardless of waht the market does, value funds move at their own pace, which provides a safety net when the market is falling.

Some recommended value funds are Mutual Shares, Third Avenue Value, and Vanguard Windsor II, according to Business Week.

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Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as of March 16, 2001) included in this Current Statewide Contract Update are subject to change. If you need additional information, please contact the appropriate state buyer.

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: ALUM
Aluminum Coil and Flat Sheets

Bid Opening:
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: IMAGE
Document Imaging
Effective Date:

Contract: AUD/TAP
Audio Cassette Tapes
National Audio
Effective Date:

Contract: SOAP
Liquid Soap and Dispensers
Date: 03/18/01

Contract: A/E FILTER
Fuel, Oil and Air Filters
Ridge Auto, Marine Supply
Effective Date:

Contracts to be Extended

Contract: CC
Description: Travel Management Charge Card
File: 31
Vendor: Citicorp - Diners Club
Extended Date: 03/30/01

Contracts to be Reviewed


Coaxial Cable (A)

Survey Stakes


Plastic Can Liner


Liquid Spills


Bar Soap


Single Audit Services


Motor and Heating Fuels


Identification Tags


Breakfast Foods; Cereals




Computer Paper


Copy Machines

Chemical Water Treatment

Classroom/Meeting Room Furniture

Metal Office Furniture

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 April 2001 Issue of The Buyers Network