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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 August 2003 Issue of the The Buyers Network!


Articles in this Issue:

Agencies Utilize Emergency Purchasing Procedures During Recent Flooding Situations Throughout State

It's Your LAST Chance:Continue to Receive The Buyers Network

Director's Comments: The Development of a State Certification Program

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

2003 Prevailing Wage Rates Protested

Surplus Property Public Auction Set for August 23

Question of the Month

The Purchasing Division Establishes Guidelines for Emergency Situations

The Travel Rule: State Agency Travel Coordinators Meet to Discuss New Travel Rule

MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thrifty

NIGP: Coming to the Charleston Area!

Vendor Spotlight...Meet Some of Our Valuable Business Partners!

Surplus Property Outlines Eligibility Requirements to Agency Participants

What's State Government Buying?

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask Us!


Agencies Utilize Emergency Purchasing Procedures During
Recent Flooding Situations Throughout the State

For many individuals, the month of June brought devastation that few will forget. Raging flood waters caused Gov. Bob Wise to declare a state of emergency for several counties, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) quickly offering assistance to affected areas.

How does emergencies such as flooding affect our state procurement process? Do the normal procedures continue to apply?

In an article in this issue of The Buyers Network, titled "The Purchasing Division Establishes Guidelines for Emergency Situations," Karen Byrd, director of the Acquisition and Contract Administration, explains important factors to remember in times of emergency situations and clarifies established procedures.

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The Buyers Network Mailing List Update

State agency procurement officers and support staff who wish to continue to receive our monthly newsletter, The Buyers Network, must notify us no later than August 15, 2003. The purpose of this task is to eliminate any unnecessary mailing costs for individuals no longer in state government or in the procurement field, as well as updating your mailing information.

If you wish to remain on our mailing list, you must notify Debbie Harrison with any changes to your address in one of the following ways:

: Via e-mail at dharriso@gwmail.state.wv.us

( By telephone at (304) 558-2315

3   By fax at (304) 558-6026, with the appropriate cover sheet; or,

* By mail to 1029 Washington Street, East; P.O. Box 50130; Charleston, WV 25305

If you do not reply by August 15, 2003, you will no longer receive your monthly copy of The Buyers Network by mail. Please remember that an electronic version of this publication is available at the Purchasing Division's website at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/BN/bnlist.htm.

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The Director's Comments:
                                           
The Development of a State Certification Program

By Dave Tincher
State Purchasing Director

Purchasing Director Dave TincherThe Purchasing Division is moving closer in the development of an agency certification program for procurement officers and support staff. For the past two conferences, the division has acquired information regarding the workshops for which each participant has attended. Signatures have been attained by class presenters to verify attendance.

Although final details of this program are not complete, our staff has reviewed the proposed criteria and has provided input. Tentatively, a three-tier certification program is being considered, offering potential candidates with basic, standard and master levels. An established curriculum must be completed and an application submitted to the Purchasing Division.

After verifying that the applicant is eligible for that particular level of certification, the individual will be tested and, if a score of 90% or more is received, the individual will become a certified West Virginia Public Purchaser.

Please note that this certification program is not associated with any national certification programs that are offered to individuals in the public or private purchasing fields.

We are hoping to have this program ready to introduce at our purchasing conference next year. Additional information will be provided to agency procurement officers in advance of implementation. Professional development is important to the future of public procurement in West Virginia state government.

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2003 Prevailing Wage Rates Protested

Buyer Supervisor Ron Price informs state agencies that the 2003 prevailing wage rates utilized in construction contracts have been recently protested. As a result, the 2002 rates are in effect.

Prevailing wage rates are hourly labor and fringe benefit rates established annually by the West Virginia Division of Labor on a county basis to be paid for all work involving various crafts and labor.

The Division of Labor filed a notice on June 13, 2003, stating that "the May 9, 2003, hearing examiner's recommended findings of fact, conclusions of law and order on the 2003 prevailing wage rates have been appealed to the Kanawha County Circuit Court. The 2002 rates will remain in effect until this matter is resolved."

The prevailing wage rates are set for each labor category and classification for each county by the West Virginia Division of Labor, based on standards established by the West Virginia Code.

According to the Purchasing Division Policies and Procedures Handbook, prevailing wage rates must be mandated in all contracts where a particular craft or trade has been identified in the wage rate schedule. For additional information, Price advises state agency procurement officers to visit the Secretary of State's website at http://www.wvsos.com/adlaw/wagerates/building02.htm.

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T
he Travel Bag:
News and Tips from the STate Travel Managment Office

More about New Bag Scanners

New bomb-detecting scanners won't hurt digital cameras, but they will damage any film left in checked bags, so pack it in your carry-on.

To speed up screening and prevent flight delays, travelers are advised not to lock their luggage. If it has to be searched by the Transportation Security Administration employees, they will have to smash the lock.

Vacationers Head to the Lakes

Some families are avoiding the most famous vacation spots. Instead of going to Disney World or Mount Rushmore, they are considering lake cottages and dude ranches.

Liberty Travel of New Jersey says spring bookings to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia have jumped 12 percent, while bookings to Washington, D.C. are down by approximately the same amount.

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Surplus Property Public Auction

Mark your calendar now... for the next Surplus Property public auction.

The next public auction sche-duled by the West Virginia State Agency for Surplus Property is Saturday, August 23.

Contact Surplus Property at 766-2626 for more details or visit its website at www.state. wv.us/admin/purchase/surplus.

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QUESTION

Can state agencies acquire equipment through a lease or lease-purchase agreement?

ANSWER

Lease and lease purchase of equipment are methods by which a state agency may obtain equipment and make payments for the use of the equipment over a period of time.

Leases and lease purchases are subject to annual funding authority of the Legislature. The state agency must provide the required funding over the life of the agreement. A reduction in funds or an administrative freeze shall not be sufficient justification to cancel a lease or lease purchase agreement. No lease or lease purchase can be canceled without approval of the Purchasing Division.

State agencies may be authorized by the Purchasing Division to purchase equipment currently under lease if the Purchasing Division competitively bid the lease originally. Each request will be evaluated on its own merits by the Purchasing Division. Approval is required by the Purchasing Division.

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The Purchasing Division Establishes Guidelines for Emergency Situations

Emergency situations within West Virginia can occur, requiring quick action from various parties. The Purchasing Division is part of that process.

In accordance with 5A-3-15 of the West Virginia Code, purchases may be necessary to be made when unforeseen causes arise; however, emergency purchases are not used for hardship resulting from neglect, poor planning or lack of organization by the spending unit.

An emergency purchase can be made only if and after the Purchasing Director, exercising sound judgment and discretion, concludes in good faith and upon reasonable and sufficient grounds that some unforeseen or unexpected circumstance has suddenly created a situation requiring that commodities or services be immediately purchased by a state spending unit. The Purchasing Director must authorize in writing such purchase.

Karen Byrd, director of the Acquisition and Contract Administration Section, explains that communication between the agency and the Purchasing Division is crucial in emergency situations. "Agencies are required to immediately notify the Purchasing Division," she said. "If it falls on a non-business day, the agency needs to inform us on the first available work day of the emergency situation."

In addition, agencies are required to follow up with a written notification of the emergency. "I generally request that they provide information to me in writing either by e-mail or memorandum that can be faxed. In return, I respond in writing and include that correspondence in their paperwork when it is submitted to the Purchasing Division," she said.

She adds that good judgment must be made by state officials in dealing with state emergencies. "It all depends upon the emergency. Agencies have to use their best judgment," she said. Byrd praises the action often taken by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Unit for their performance in emergency situations. "I have been extremely impressed with the process they have established in order to get competitive pricing in such situations," she added.

In addition to the statutory regulations in the West Virginia Code and in the Purchasing Division’s Policies and Procedures Handbook, Gov. Bob Wise implemented emergency guidelines for all public agencies in January of 2003, which stressed the importance of maintaining competition in emergency situations. "After the governor issued the public purchasing procedures for emergency situations, people have been paying more attention to those requirements which have improved the process. It has made them more aware of their responsibilities in such situations," Byrd said.

In summary, agencies should remember to notify the Purchasing Division immediately after an emergency occurs. Also, seeking competition to meet the agency’s needs is required. Lastly, document all attempts made in finding sources for the commodities and services required.

Byrd explains that she values the Purchasing Division’s role in emergency situations. "We process the paperwork, while others are coming to the aid of those directly affected by the emergency. But it is rewarding knowing that we’ve helped open the door to that assistance by helping to speed up the process," she said.

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The Travel Rule
              State Agency Travel Coordinators Meet to Discuss New Travel Rule

Acting Cabinet Secretary Tom Susman (center) and Purchasing Director Dave Tincher (right) met with agency travel coordinators to gain their suggestions and comments regarding the proposed travel rules. Legislative Liaison Donna Prunty is accumulating the comments for submission.If you want to make improvements in any program, what should you do first? Ask the experts!

The Department of Administration did just that when they invited the agency travel coordinators throughout state government to come together to review the proposed legislative rule regarding out-of state travel for all state spending units.

The Department of Administration has proposed the rule, which was filed with the Secretary of State's Office. After submission for filing, a comment period allows for interested parties to make suggestions or changes. "Our goal is to develop a set of regulations that will work in balancing our needs," said Acting Cabinet Secretary of Administration Tom Susman.

Some possible changes to current travel policies include incorporating the federal per diem for lodging accommodations and evaluating the airline usage for potential savings. "The bottom line is that we want to be more efficient and accountable," he added.

The comment period ended at 10:00 a.m. on July 31,2003. Individuals wishing to make a comment had to do so in writing by the deadline. Donna Prunty, Legislative Liaison for the Department of Administration, will consolidate the comments and forward to the Legislative Rule Review Committee for consideration after Cabinet Secretary Susman's approval.

Purchasing Director Dave Tincher reviewed the proposed rule by each section with approximately 15 coordinators in attendance. Clarification was provided regarding the information included in the rule and several redundancies eliminated.

"The interaction among the coordinators was exactly what we were wanting from this meeting," Tincher said. "These individuals are vital to providing us with the information we need to experience the savings while improving the state travel process."

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MONEYWISE...Tips from the Thrifty

Ways to Save

American military action overseas. A worsening economic recession. It's no wonder this year people are starting to watch their wallets. A few years ago, one Chicago-area business owner never carried a coffee card to be punched every time he bought a cup of coffee so he could get the 10th one free. Now he does. It's the future of America. The following are some ways to save a few dollars:

$ Take public transportation rather than taxis.

$ Wait longer between haircuts.

$ Buy cheaper coffee drinks or drinks available at the office.

$ Use discount cards for food and beverages.

$ Opt for standard cable television over premium programming.

$ Get car washes less frequently.

$ Refinance mortgage payments.

$ Take shorter vacations closer to home.

$ Buy only needed items, like one pair of pants instead of two; resist the temptations of sales.

Adapted from the Chicago Tribute

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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 All State Agencies

Request for water treatment chemicals on an open-end basis to various state agencies and political subdivisions.

w Division of Rehabilitation Services

Request for security guard services for the state Rehabilitation Center Complex in Institute, West Virginia.

w Division of Juvenile Services

Request for comprehensive medical services for juvenile offenders.

w All State Agencies

Request for open-end statewide contract to provide lubricants, oil and grease.

w Secretary of State's Office

Request for printing, stocking and supplying the West Virginia Uniform Application for Voter Registration by Mail Form.

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NIGP: Coming to the Charleston Area!

The West Virginia Chapter of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing is pleased to announce a seminar, titled "Intermediate Public Procurement," to be conducted in the Charleston area on October 29 at the South Ridge Hampton Inn.

Instructed by William "Joe" Tommie, CPPO, this one-day course targets public officials responsible for purchasing goods and/or services or manage materials for governmental units and others interested in obtaining purchasing knowledge.

The seminar outline includes materials management, legal requirements, meeting organizational needs, controlling transportation and traffic, selection of procurement methods, contract administration, procurement automation, inventory management, procuring capital equipment and purchasing construction services.

The fee for this course is $500 for national members, $660 for chapter members and $770 for non-members.

For registration forms and additional information, please contact Beverly Carte of the Division of Natural Resources at (304) 558-3397 or fax (304) 558-2165. Her e-mail address is bcarte@dnr.state.wv.us.

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VENDOR SPOTLIGHT...Meet Some of Our Valuable Business Partners!

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

Introducing Alpha Associates of Morgantown, WV

Alpha Associates of Morgantown, West Virginia, is a West Virginia-owned and operated architectural and engineering firm. It offers civil and structural architectural services, including new building design, additions and renovations as well as interior design and landscape design.

Bobbie Hawkins, Marketing Coordinator of Alpha Associates, says that her firm has been working with the Division of Highways for several decades. Recently, her firm was selected to complete the two newest Welcome Centers in the state on Interstates 68 and 77.

She attended the 2003 Agency and Vendor Conference and Product Exposition in April. "The conference combination was a tremendous help this year. The face-to-face contact that we have been able to have since that time has helped to increase our market share in state agencies," she said.

For more details on Alpha Associates, contact Bobbie Hawkins at (304) 296-8216 or by email at bhawkins@alphaaec.com.

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      Surplus Property Outlines Eligibility Requirements to Agency Participants

The Surplus Property Unit offers eligible organizations, including state agencies, the opportunity to acquire good, usable property at low, discounted prices. With the budgetary crisis in West Virginia as well as most other states, this program is vital to many organizations' operations.

Organizations that are eligible to participate in the State Surplus Property Program include state agencies, county commissions, county boards of education, municipalities, public service districts, county building commissions, airport authorities, parks and recreation commissions, nonprofit domestic corporations qualified as tax exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and volunteer fire departments in this state, when such volunteer fire departments have been held exempt from taxation under section 501 (c) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.

An Application for Eligibility must be completed and signed by the executive officer or authorized representatives prior to purchasing state surplus property. This form may be found at Surplus Property's website at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/surplus. This form serves as a source of authority for both the State and Federal Surplus Property Programs. Participants must complete an application every three (3) years or earlier if there is a change in administration. If an agency wishes to add or delete an individual from the list of those authorized to sign for property acquired from the Surplus Property Unit, the change must be requested in writing by the execu-tive officer or authorized representatives.

Divisions or sections with a unique budget line item from which they expend funds may complete an Application for Eligibility on their own.

The executive officer of that particular division/section may identify authorized representatives to make purchases on behalf of that division/section. When the executive head changes, it is the responsibility of the division/section to notify the Surplus Property Unit of the change so that a new application may be completed by his/her predecessor.

For additional information on the eligibility procedures, please contact Valerie Brown at 766-2626 or via e-mail at vbrown@gwmail.state.wv.us.

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CURRENT STATEWIDE CONTRACT UPDATE

Information and dates (as of July 15, 2003) 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: SAT
Description: Satellite Transponder Time
File: 21
Vendor: G2 Satellite Solutions Co.
Effective Date: 08/15/03

Contract: MA01SW03
Description: ESRI Software
File: 21
Vendor: Environmental Systems Research Institute
Effective Date: 05/19/03

Contract: A/E FILTER
Description: Filters: Oil, Air and Fuel
File: 23
Vendor: Vehicle Maintenance Program
Effective Date: 05/19/03

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: WATERT
Description: Water Treatment Chemicals
File: 22
Bid Opening: 07/23/03
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: OIL
Description: Lubicants and Oils
File: 33
Bid Opening: 07/16/03
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: HOUSE
Description: Housekeeping Materials
File: 42
Bid Opening: 06/10/03
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: LIGHT
Description: Lighting; Bulbs
File: 42
Bid Opening: 08/07/03
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contract: RIB
Description: Ribbons and Laser Toners
File: 42
Bid Opening: 07/10/03
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: FASTEN
Description: Fasteners and Accessories
File: 22
Vendor: Fastenal Co.
Expiration Date: 08/01/04

Contract: LS
Description: Glassware/Chemicals
File: 31
Vendor: VWR Scientific
Expiration Date: 08/15/0
4

Contract: FINEPAP
Description: Computer Paper
File: 42
Vendor: Xpedx, Unisource
Expiration Date: 07/01/0
4

Contracts Extended

Contract: IP
Description: Information Processing Equipment
File: 21
Comments: Extended until 08/31/0
3

Contract: CRENTAL
Description: Car Rental Services
File: 23
Comments: Extended
until Further Notice

Contract: IPTEMP
Description: Information Processing Temporary Services
File: 21
Comments: Extended until 09/30
/03

Contract: CANLINER
Description: Unisource
File: 31
Comments: Extended until Further Notice

Contracts to be Reviewed

AUGUST

File 21: MSSELECT
Microsoft Products

File 21: JITLECT
Multimedia Courseware Developmen
t

File 22: RECMGT
Records Management Services

File 22: FLOORPAD
Floor Buffing Pads

File 31: DIAPER
Diapers and Pads

File 42: BTWATER
Bottled Water

SEPTEMBER

File 21: MFSVC
Microfilm Services

File 22: HOTEL
Hotel Room
s

File 31: TCARD
Travel Management Charge Card

File 31: DEBT
Debt Collection Services

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 23
Chuck Bowman
(558-2157)

File 31
Evan Williams
(558-2596)

File 33
John Johnston
(558-0492)

File 41
Ron Price
(558-2316)

File 42 
Betty Francisco
(558-0468)

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Questions?...Just Ask!

Are you unsure of certain purchasing procedures? ... 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 this form:

Name:

Organization:

E-Mail Address:

Telephone:

Need Information About:

 

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Thank You for Viewing our August 2003 Issue of The Buyers Network