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 February 2001 Issue of the The Buyers Network!


Articles in this Issue:

Online Purchasing Handbook Now Accessible on Website

Purchasing Division Welcomes New Cabinet Secretary of Administration

WV Chapter of NIGP: New Officers Elected for 2001-2002 Term

Director's Comments:
Word Travels Faster with State Agency Assistance

Planning Begins for the 2001 Vendor Purchasing Conference

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

The Travel Bag: News and Tips from the State Travel Management Office

Purchasing Division Extends Statewide Contract for Office Supplies to Augusut

Social Security Base Rises in Year 2001

What's State Government Buying?

All-Day Shuttle Service Schedule Runs thrugh April 27

MONEYWISE...Tips or the Thrifty

Vendor Spotlight...Meet Our West Virginia Businesses!

BEP Rule Prevents Contract Awards to Vendors with Default Accounts

Spotlighting...Statewide Contracts

Mark Your Calendar! Agency Conference Scheduled for 2001

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask Us!


www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/handbook
  Online Purchasing Handbook Now Accessible on Website

Have you checked out the online Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook at www.state.wv.us/admin/ purchase/handbook?

The online information is identical to the hard copy handbook, but has many added benefits. The primary benefit is that the information is updated when revisions are made. Therefore, the most current information is available online; whereas, the printed copies may not include all revisions.

The Purchasing Division plans to distribute revised pages, if needed, once a quarter. Should an issue arise that needs immediate clarification, a special mailing will be distributed and clarification made in this publication.

"State agency purchasers are encouraged to bookmark the electronic Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook as one of their favorites," Purchasing Director Dave Tincher suggests. "Due to the high cost of printing our 300+ page handbook, we sought alternative ways to get this valuable information to all state employees who have responsibility for purchasing, whether they procure $100 or a million dollars annually."

To view the online handbook, key in the Purchasing Division's website address: www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase. The handbook can be accessed two ways: 1] on the site map (found at the top of the home page) or 2] by clicking the hotlink at the bottom of the home page which states "the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook."

A table of contents (see graphic on page one) will guide the user to the specific information needed. Appendices are also available on the electronic handbook.

Questions, concerns and suggestions relating to the purchasing handbook may be forwarded to Diane Holley (e-mail: dholley@gwmail.state.wv.us; telephone: (304) 558-0661).

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Purchasing Division Welcomes New
Cabinet Secretary of Administration

Cabinet Secretary Greg BurtonThe Purchasing Division is pleased to welcome Greg Burton who was appointed as cabinet secretary of the Department of Administration, effective January 16, 2001. The Purchasing Division is organizationally structured under the Department of Administration.

Previously serving as city manager of the City of Charleston, Burton brings a wealth of experience in public policy and administration. He has also served as executive director of the Health Care Review Authority.

Purchasing Director Dave Tincher has met with Burton to discuss the purchasing process and existing issues relating to public procurement. Tincher indicated that he looks forward to maintaining the positive track which state purchasing is taking in West Virginia.

Burton said he plans to utilize his municipal and state government experiences in this new role. "Many of the problems that I saw at the City of Charleston are similar to those of the state. We were able to take a look at those problems and resolve them," he said. "On the state level, the problems will just be much bigger, more costly and will deal with larger issues."

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WV CHAPTER OF NIGP
New Officers Elected for 2001-2002 Term

The West Virginia Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing recently elected new officers for the 2001-2002 term. The Purchasing Division is pleased that Charlyn Miller, a Senior Buyer, (pictured at left) has been selected as president of the state chapter.

The new slate of officers are listed below:

Charlyn Miller, President
Purchasing Division  (304) 558-2596

Susie Teel, Vice President
DHHR  (304) 558-1294

Alberta Kincaid, Secretary
Motor Vehicles  (304) 558-3938

Bob Bragg, Treasurer
Highways  (304) 558-0408

Meetings are held every other month at different locations. The next scheduled meeting is March 21 at an undetermined location. For additional information, please feel free to contact the new officers listed above.

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The Director's Comments

              Word Travels Faster with State Agency Assistance

By Dave Tincher
State Purchasing Director

Purchasing Director Dave TincherConsider the number of West Virginia vendors with whom our state government communicates on a daily basis. The Purchasing Division realizes this volume and, in turn, is asking for your help!

For the third consecutive year, a two-day conference targeting our state vendors is being planned for April 4-6 at Pipestem State Park. We need your assistance in getting the word out to those prospective participants.

Why should West Virginia vendors attend?

In the past two years, those vendors who have attended this  annual conference have  been puzzled as to why all state vendors do not attend.

This conference, often referred to as 'West Virginia's Best Kept Secret', offers networking opportunities with the Purchasing Division staff, other decision makers in state agencies, and with fellow West Virginia vendors. The conference also offers workshop sessions on such topics as the formal bid process, the division's Internet site, payment issues, marketing techniques, and general information on the state purchasing process.

Who should attend?

All West Virginia resident vendors are encouraged to register for our conference, whether they are new to state government or if they have been dealing with state agencies for years. Everyone can benefit from the contacts and information available.

What will they gain from coming to this conference?

From past feedback received, the Purchasing Division has learned that most conference participants not only applauded the value of the information presented in the workshop, but also the people they have met from the Purchasing Division and other state agencies. At last year's conference, representatives from 19 state agencies were available to talk to the conference participants during one-on-one meetings. Vendors are able to provide literature on the products and services they sell and ask questions of the agency representative as to how they can better market their specialities to state agencies.

How can they find out more about this conference?

To learn more information about the 2001 Vendor Purchasing Conference, please refer West Virginia vendors to our website at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/vcreq.htm to add their name and address to our mailing list or contact the conference coordinators, preferably via e-mail: Diane Holley (dholley@gwmail.state.wv.us; telephone: (304) 558-0661); Debbie Watkins (dwatkins@gwmail.state.wv.us; telephone: (304) 558-3568); and, Kelli Doyle (kdoyle@gwmail.state.wv.us; telephone: (304) 558-7839).

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THE TRAVEL BAG
Tips From the State Travel Management Office

Traffic Jams

Americans spend a great amount of time in traffic each day. In fact, the average person spends 34 hours each year in traffic jams.

On an average, drivers living in one of the nation's 68 largest urban areas need to give themselves 29 percent more time to get from point A to point B when they travel during rush hours.

The difference between peak and off-peak travel times has grown dramatically since 1982, particularly in urban areas with populations under 3 million.

Bigger Payout per Bag

The amount an airline will pay for a lost, delayed or damaged travel bag has been increased from $1,200 to $2,500 per domestic passenger.

If your bag is lost when you are traveling to a foreign country, you are not quite so lucky. Airline are obligated to pay just $9.07 per pound or a maximum of $640 a suitcase.

Experts recommend that you carry jewelry and other valuables with you.

Worse Day to Fly

Trying to figure out which day you should leave for your business trip?

On his website Bestfares.com, editor Tom Parsons says Friday flights are most often delayed or cancelled. The next worst day is Thursday. According to Parsons, Wednesdays are the best day to hit the friendly skies.

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Pipestem State Park - April 4-6, 2001
         
Planning Begins for the 2001 Vendor Purchasing Conference

The Purchasing Division is planning its 2001 Vendor Purchasing Conference for April 4-6 at Pipestem State Park. All West Virginia resident vendors are encouraged to attend this two-day informational event.

Although the schedule has not been confirmed, the conference agenda will include small workshop sessions, focusing on panel discussions, and face-to-face meetings with agency and Purchasing Division representatives.

"If I were a West Virginia vendor, I couldn't pass up this educational opportunity," said Purchasing Director Dave Tincher. "We are bringing many of the state's decision makers together to personally meet these state business representatives. They will have our sole attention during this conference."

For more information, please contact our conference coordinators: Diane Holley (dholley@ gwmail.state.wv.us; telephone: (304) 558-0661), Debbie Watkins (dwatkins@gwmail.state.wv.us; telephone: (304) 558-3568); and Kelli Doyle (kdoyle@gwmail.state.wv.us; telephone: (304) 558-7839).

(See Director's Comments on page 2)

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What's New?
      Taking an Indepth Look Inside the New Purchasing 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 www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/handbook.


For many new state agency purchasers, the first step in learning the state purchasing process is to understand the terminology.

In the new purchasing handbook, a section has been dedicated to defining certain terms. The list of terms grew from 21 in the previous purchasing manual to 73 in the new handbook.

Before you can apply certain processes and procedures, it is important to completely understand the terms used. Some of the terms defined include award date, agreement, bid bond, design build, fixed assets, justification, life cost cycle, prevailing wages and stringing.

It is recommended, even for advanced purchasers, to review Section 2: Definitions, Abbreviations and Acronyms. There has been new terminology introduced in the purchasing field in recent years, such as best value purchasing, with which all agency purchasers should become familiar.

Let's test your knowledge of purchasing terms (answers below)...:

A written agreement between the owner of equipment and a state agency by which the owner agrees to give the agency permission to use the equipment for a predetermined fee for a period exceeding 30 days.
Answer: ___________________

A Best Value Purchasing tool that allows for the evaluation of the total or projected cost of a commodity over its life, in addition to the initial purchase price, including operational expenses and other factors.
Answer: ___________________

A detailed description of a commodity or service to be included in a solicitation, bid or an awarded contract.
Answer: ___________________

Issuing a series of requisitions or purchase orders to circumvent competitive bidding or to defeat the State Purchasing Card transaction or delegated purchasing limit.
Answer: ___________________

Answers: Lease, Life Cost Cycle, Specifications and Stringing.

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Purchasing Division Extends Statewide
Contract for Office Supplies to August

The statewide contract for office supplies (SWC-Office98) has been extended to August 2001, completing the final year of the contract renewal, according to Senior Buyer Jim Jackson.

A new 2001 Net Pricer and new Boise Cascade Catalog should be sent to the state agencies this month. The Boise Cascade catalog lists the item retail prices. When vendors bid the original contract, each vendor quoted an individual percentage discount from retail pricing for each group of office supplies, including writing instruments, filing folders and tabs, desk organizer trays and desk mats.

The Net Pricer is essentially the vendor’s retail pricing - the percentage discount = net price (our price).

As with all statewide contracts, state agency purchasers are encouraged to inform the Purchasing Buyer for opportunities to improve existing contracts. Jackson stressed the importance of agency input. "Because the agency personnel use the contracts, they have a better understanding of the quality of the commodity as well as the price and vendor services," he said.

[For additional information on the statewide contracts available, check the online Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook, Appendix E, at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchasing/handbook.]

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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 North Central Regional Jail
Request for quotations to provide two tractors with attachments for the North Central Regional Jail.

w All State Agencies
Request for Proposals to provide hardware, software and integration to state agencies.

w Development Office
Request for Proposals to develop golf courses into a West Virginia Golf Trails system.

w Division of Natural Resources
Contract to print and distribute the semi-annual West Virginia Magazine.

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Social Security Base Rises in Year 2001

For 2001, the maximum amount on which employees and employers pay Social Security rises to $80,400. Percentages remain the same at 6.2 percent for employer and employee and 1.45 percent each for Medicare.

Social Security benefits increased by 3.5 percent with the January checks.

Premiums for Medicare Part B has risen by approximately 10 percent or $50 a year.

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All-Day Capitol Shuttle Service Schedule Runs through April 27

The schedule for the shuttle between the State Capitol and the Laidley Field parking area expanded to all-day service beginning January 16, 2001, through the 2001 Regular Session of the Legislature, concluding on April 27, 2001, according to Capitol Parking Manager Janice Boggs.

The shuttle will operate Monday through Friday, departing Laidley Field at 7:00 a.m. through 5:15 p.m., when the shuttle leaves Building 5 for its final daily run.

Beginning February 12, 2001, the last departure will be extended to 6:15 p.m.

The shuttle stops are listed below:

  • Laidley Field (Parking Lot)

  • State Parking Building (Piedmont Road)

  • Building 6 Entrance (California Avenue)

  • State Capitol - East Wing Entrance (California Avenue);
  • State Capitol - Main Building Entrance (California Avenue);
  • Governor’s Driveway (Greenbrier Street);
  • Division of Highways (Building 5 - Piedmont Road);

Each stop is served approximately every ten (10) minutes. The shuttle does not operate on weekends or state holidays.

A shuttle that is easily accessible to the physically disadvantaged (including a wheelchair lift) will be utilized. Visitors are encouraged to use the Laidley Field parking area and metered parking spaces near the State Parking Building when doing business at the State Capitol Complex. The shuttle service is provided free of charge.

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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 Huntington Steel of Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington Steel of Huntington, West Virginia, offers miscellaneous steel components, such as angle, beams, rebar and sheets, used for construction. They are also in the business of fabricating steel.

Bill Wheeler, salesperson for Huntington Steel, indicated that his relationship with state government has been very positive. Dealing primarily with the Division of Highways, he states that he continues to seek new and productive ways to market his company to the state. Attending the 2000 Vendor Purchasing Conference was a smart move for Wheeler. "One of the biggest benefits of this conference was the opportunity to get to know the people who do the purchasing for the state," he said. "It also allowed me to talk about my company and what we offer."

For more information on the services offered by Huntington Steel, contact Bill Wheeler at (800) 888-9780 or via electronic mail at sales@huntingtonsteel.com.

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            MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thrifty

Baby Boomers are Staying Put

Economists quoted in The Kiplinger Letter predict that the big bulge of baby boomers will accelerate the trend of aging in place.

As they head toward their senior years, more boomers plan to remodel their homes for easier living. They want to stay put rather than sell and relocate to a different house.

The home remodeling industry will see higher expenditure growth for updating baths, kitchens and family rooms.

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SPOTLIGHTING...
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.

SWC-HOUSE
Statewide Contract for Housekeeping Supplies

Vendor
Winans Sanitary Supply
[Parkersburg, WV]

Contact: S.A. Winans and Elise Smith at (800) 759-4004.

Contract Period
Effective through February 28, 2002.

Services Offered
This contract provides various housekeeping materials to state agencies.

Delivery
All orders from this contract, excluding those totalling $150 or less, must be F.O.B. Destination. Orders totalling less than $150 shall be delivered F.O.B, shipping point with the freight prepaid and added to the invoice as a separate item.

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BEP Rule Prevents Contract Awards
to Vendors with Default Accounts

In recent years, legislation has been passed to prevent the award of contracts to vendors who owe or have accounts which are in default with the state of West Virginia.

As a result of such legislation, the Purchasing Division has created such precautions as the No-Debt Affidavit and has began ensuring that awarded vendors are in compliance with the unemployment compensation and workers' compensation laws.

The Commissioner of the Bureau of Employment Programs was directed to promulgate a rule under which agencies may not "grant, issue or renew any contract, license, permit, certificate, or other authority to conduct a trade, profession or business to or with any employing unit whose account is in default under either unemployment compensation laws or the workers' compensation laws."

According to procedures established by the Bureau, existing contracts currently in effect are not affected by this rule; however, those contracts may not be renewed or extended if the vendor's name is included in the BEP's default database.

Contracts or purchase orders for goods and/or services either purchased or leased that are currently being processed may not be executed by the agency if the vendor's name is included in the default database.

Upon discovery that a vendor's name is included, the agency may wish to notify the vendor that the agency may not do business with that vendor as long as the business' name is in the BEP default database.

In Appendix L of the new Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook, a sample letter is included that may be used by state agencies in responding to vendors in such instances. The BEP default database may be accessed under Workers Compensation through the state homepage at www.state.wv.us or at www.state.wv.us.bep. Specific instructions are currently being developed and will be distributed to state agencies.

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Mark Your Calendar! Agency Conference Scheduled for 2001

Agency purchasers are already asking, "When's the next agency conference?"

The Purchasing Division contracted with Canaan Valley State Resort and Conference Center for the 2001 Agency Purchasing Conference, which will be held on October 15-18.

Registration information should be available by early September and will be publicized in The Buyers Network. In an upcoming issue, our readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback as to the topics to be addressed during the workshop sessions.

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Current Statewide Contract Update

Information and dates (as of January 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 Awarded

Contract: CONV
Description:
Document Conversion Services

File:
21
Vendor:
Information Manufacturing Services, Laser Systems Inc.

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: TM
Description:
Travel Management Services
File:
31
Bid Opening:
02/07/01
Under Evaluation
:
To Open

Contract: ALUM
Description:
Aluminum Coil and Flat Sheets
File:
33
Bid Opening:
02/07/01
Under Evaluation:
To Open

Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: IP
Description:
Information Processing
File:
21
Vendors:
Computer Store of WV, Computerland of Huntingon, Hourly Computer Services, Pomeroy Computer Services, Natcor
Effective Date:
01/15/01

Contract: FLOORPAD
Description:
Floor Buffing Pads
File:
22
Vendor:
Enviro San
Effective Date:
01/01/01

Contract: SAFETY
Description:
Safety Equipment
File:
22
Vendors:
Discount Industrial Supply, Grainger, Safety Supply Inc.
Effective
Date: 02/01/01

Contract: CRENTAL
Description:
Car Rental Services
File:
22
Vendor:
Avis
Effective Date:
02/16/01

Contract: CARPET
Description:
Carpet and Rugs
File:
42
Vendors:
Family Carpet
Effective Date:
01/01/01

Contracts to be Reviewed

FEBRUARY

FASTEN
Fasteners and Accessories

FLRMAC
Floor Machines

DEBT
Debt Collection Services

A/E BATT
Automobile and Equipment Batteries

FOOD
Canned Foods and Staple Groceries

MARCH

CABLE
Coaxial Cable (A)

STAKES
Survey Stakes

CANLINER
Plastic Can Liner

ABSORB
Liquid Spills

BARSOAP
Bar Soap

AUDIT
Single Audit Services

FUEL
Motor and Heating Fuels

TAGS
Identification Tags

CEREAL
Breakfast Foods; Cereals

ENVLOP
Envelopes

FINEPAP
Computer Paper


Purchasing Division Staff

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

File 21
Charlyn Miller
(558-0067)

File 22
Pam Jones
(558-0468)

File 31
Evan Williams
(558-2596)

File 33
John Johnston
(558-0492)

File 41
Ron Price
(558-2316)

File 42 
Jim Jackson
(558-2402)

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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:

Name:

Organization:

E-Mail Address:

Telephone:

Need Information About:

 

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Thank You for Viewing our February 2001 Issue of The Buyers Network