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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 January 2004 Issue of the The Buyers Network!


Articles in this Issue:

An Overview of the Purchasing Division's Accomplishments

2004 Agency and Vendor Conference and Product Expo Set for April 19-23

Director's Comments:
Preparing for the 2004 Legislative Session

United Bank Offers its Users Electronic Payment Options for Travel Expenses

Question of the Month

Looking at Better Ways to Do Business

Boise Cascade Utilizes the Internet Ordering on New SWC for Envelopes

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

Mileage Rate for Reimbursement Increases in 2004

State Travelers May Opt to Directly Deposit Reimbursement Checks

Purchase Order Summary for FY03

Noticeable and Cost-Effective Changes Made to Purchase Orders and RFQ Forms

MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thrifty

New Statewide Contract for Lighting Awarded

Retirement News

Current Statewide Contract Update

Questions?...Just Ask Us!


An Overview of the Purchasing Division's Accomplishments

According to the Purchasing Division's Annual Report for fiscal year 2003, many sacrifices had to be made in addressing budgetary and funding issues which not only affected our state, but most of the state of the Union.

As a result, creative ideas were generated to cut expenditures, while maintaining the services expected by our customers and taxpayers.

One change related to parking at the State Capitol Complex. Effective July 1, 2003, the parking fee increased to $16 per month and will raise $1 per month each year thereafter until it reaches $20 per month in 2007, in accordance with the passage of House Bill 2592 dur-ing the 2003 Legislative Session. Other changes relative to parking were made as a result of this legislation, including an increase in parking violation fines, an increase in the number of times tickets may be issued, the authorization of removing or immobilizing vehicles or revoking a parking space from those who owe more than ten unpaid violations, and expanding the hours in which tickets may be issued.

For more details from our Annual Report, see the article, titled, "Looking at Better Ways to Do Business."

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2004 Agency and Vendor Purchasing Conference
and Product Expo Set for April 19-23


The Purchasing Division has confirmed its plans for the 2004 Agency and Vendor Purchasing Conference & Product Expo.

After the success of last year's conference, which combined state agency purchasers and business representatives, the concept of bringing together the buyers and sellers within state government continues.

The conference is set for April 19-23 at the Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Center in Chester, West Virginia. This facility will be able to accommodate the individual workshop sessions, group meetings and the product exposition all under one roof.

Registration materials will be available by early February. At that time, interested participants may check the Purchasing Division's website at www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase for additional information or contact the conference coordinators: Diane Holley (dholley@wvadmin.gov) 558-0661 and Debbie Watkins (dwatkins@wvadmin.gov) 558-3568.

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The Director's Comments:
               
               Preparing for the 2004 Legislative Session

By Dave Tincher
State Purchasing Director

Purchasing Director Dave TincherJanuary 14, 2004, marks the first day of the Legislative session. The Purchasing Division will be working closely with our state representatives in addressing their inquiries and concerns.

We will also continue to keep our agency purchasers aware of any changes which may occur that would affect current policies, practices and procedures.

For your information, the 2004 legislative calendar is as follows:

Jan. 14: First day of session.

Feb. 2: Submission of Legislative Rule-Making Review bills due.

Feb. 23: Last day to introduce bills in Senate. Does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills.

Feb. 27:Last day to introduce bills in House of Delegates. Does not apply to originating or supplementary appropriation bills.

Feb. 29: Bills due out of committees in house of origin to ensure three full days for readings.

March 3: Last day to consider bill on third reading in house of origin. Does not include budget or supplementary appropriation bills.

March 13: Adjournment at Midnight.

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United Bank Offers its Users Electronic Payment Options for Travel Expenses

United Bank, the state contractor on behalf of MasterCard for travel credit card services, offers state employees the option of paying their bills electronically. More than 300 state employees have signed up for this service.

What's in it for me? According to Ann Mollohan, Credit Card Services Coordinator for the Purchasing Division, online access to their account allows them to not only pay their bills electronically, but they may also review the status of their accounts at any time or anywhere. "This is a very convenient way to monitor your account activity," she said. "Payments made online prior to 6 p.m. are processed that evening. This option is really one of the quickest ways to make a payment."

Mollohan reminds state employees that making timely payments is a responsibility of the card holder.

To sign up for this online service, simply go to the Travel Management Office's website at www.state.wv.us/admin/travel and click on the United Bank logo. If you currently do not have a State Travel Card, please discuss the matter with your supervisor. If deemed necessary, you will be directed to your agency's travel coordinator.

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QUESTION

When a Request for Proposal is to be evaluated, what are the stipulations regarding the committee?

ANSWER

The Purchasing Division requires a committee of at least three and recommends no more than five persons knowledgeable of the service to be acquired. The agency must receive approval from the Purchasing Division to request more than five members to this committee. The agency will identify and justify the evaluation committee members to the Purchasing Division prior to the release of the RFP.

The agency procurement officer, who is skilled in purchasing techniques and procedures, will be one of the evaluation committee members and will be required to participate as a full voting member. (The Purchasing Division reserves the right to accept or reject agency appointed committee members and/or to appoint committee members directly to provide proper representation.)

The Purchasing Division has created an internal Request for Proposal Evaluation Committee to review all agency evaluation committee recommendations prior to making the award.

We want your questions! … Submit your questions via e-mail to Diane Holley at dholley@wvadmin.gov.

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Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2003
                                  Looking at Better Ways to Do Business

Achievements and changes that occurred during the 2003 fiscal year were outlined in the Purchasing Division's Annual Report. In addition to changes in parking at the State Capitol (see article, titled, "An Overview of the Purchasing Division's Accomplishments), many other notable issues were addressed as highlighted below.

Governor's Fleet Reduction

In January of 2003, Gov. Bob Wise issued Executive Order 01-03, which reduced the state's fleet by approximately 15 percent. Because the Purchasing Division oversees the state's fleet and operates the Surplus Property Program, the division was charged with managing the reduction efforts and given the discretion to successfully accomplish this goal.

The state's biggest vehicle surplus auction was conducted on May 31, 2003, at the Surplus Property Unit’s facility at 2700 Charles Avenue in Dunbar, generating over half a million dollars in revenue. A variety of vehicles were available from sedans to SUVs to heavy-duty trucks. The state was estimated at saving more than $2.2 million dollars each year by no longer having the expense of fuel, maintenance and insurance for these vehicles.

Agency and Vendor Training

A strong focus continued toward professional development and training. The 2003 Agency and Vendor Purchasing Conference, conducted at Lakeview Resort & Conference Center on April 7-11, was the first time that the Purchasing Division combined the training for agency purchasers and business representatives. The outcome was successful. In addition, a product exposition was included in the agenda for the conference, with nearly 80 vendors displaying their products and services to over 225 agency representatives. An additional 50 vendors attended the conference, but chose not to participate in the expo.

MasterCard Travel Card

United Bank was the successful bidder in the statewide contract for travel credit card services (TCARD).

The existing statewide travel card contract with Diners Club expired March 31, 2003. A smooth transition from Diners Club to MasterCard was experienced, primarily due to the dissemination of information to all state travel coordinators in a timely manner. In February of 2003, six workshop sessions were conducted for state travel coordinators in Morgantown and Charleston.

Emergency Purchasing Procedures

In accordance with the 15-5-6(g) of the West Virginia Code, the governor has the authority to suspend certain laws, rules and/or regulations regarding the acquisition of commodities and services by public organizations in the event the governor declares an emergency.

In January of 2003, public purchasing procedures were developed and put into effect for implementation by all public organizations in declared emergency situations.

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Boise Cascade Utilizes the Internet Ordering
on New Ordering on New SWC for Envelopes

Effective Feb. 1, 2004, the new statewide contract for envelopes with Boise Cascade must be used by state agencies.

Boise Cascade has established procedures for envelope ordering, utilizing valuable information, including samples, from agency users. The purpose of this interaction with the agencies was to enable this contractor to meet the quick delivery requirements mandated by this contract, according to Senior Buyer Betty Francisco.

At the agency's request, Boise Cascade will stock, at no extra charge, quantities of the envelopes used by a specific agency, but will not be billed for them until the shipment is requested.

"Boise Cascade plans to integrate this envelope contract into their Internet site for quicker handling of orders. If you have not yet requested training from Boise on ordering through the Internet, I encourage you to look into this feature," she said.

Francisco states that one of the most important new features of this statewide contract is that it offers the ability to order the standard, meaning no personalization, interdepartmental envelopes with string and button closures in quantities of 100.

For additional information, the contact persons for this contract are listed below:

Sharon Covert
Phone:
304-755-8175
Fax:
304-755-8173
Cell:
304-389-7089
E-mail: sharoncovert@boiseoffice. com

Mick Bell
Phone:
304-529-0482
Fax:
304-529-0629
E-mail:
mickbell@boiseoffice.com

Please note that Sharon Covert has replaced Wendell Sampson, who has transferred with Boise Cascade to Tulsa, OK.

General purchasing questions regarding the statewide contract for envelopes should be directed to Betty Francisco at (304) 558-0468 or via e-mail at bfrancisco@ wvadmin.gov.

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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 Valley Business Systems of Elkins, WV

Valley Business Systems of Elkins, WV, offers various business equipment, including Sharp copiers, prints, fax machines and scanners, including HP printers.

Allen Rhodes, owner of the company, indicated that he has provided sales and service to various agencies in the north-central region of the state. He deals very closely with the Division of Natural Resources and the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Rhodes has found that using mailers and on-site visits have been helpful in making contacts within state government. He also attended the 2003 Agency and Vendor Purchasing Conference and Product Expo in April. "It was beneficial to meet purchasers and other employees in state government," he said. "We also displayed and demonstrated our products at the expo."

For more information, contact Allen Rhodes at (304) 636-0504 or via email at arhodes@3wlogic.net.

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Mileage Rate for Reimbursement Increases in 2004

The IRS recently announced the standard mileage rate to use in 2004 to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business. The amounts for the various deductible costs for use of a car will be effective January 1, 2004 and are as follows:

The standard mileage rate for the use of a car for business purposes is 37.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven. Courtesy vehicles are reimbursed at 14 cents per mile.The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.

The IRS hires a contractor each year to study the costs of operating a vehicle, including gas prices, oil, tires and general maintenance costs.

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State Travelers May Opt to Directly Deposit Reimbursement Checks

State Travel Manager Catherine DeMarco informs state employees who travel on state business of a program which enables travel reimbursements to be directly deposited to their bank accounts.

"The direct deposit program for travel reimbursements is no different from having an employee's pay check directly deposited," said Kim Murphy, Director of E-Payments for the State Auditor's Office. "The only difference is that a separate form must be completed."

This form may be downloaded from the State Auditor's website at www.wvauditor.com.

Once the employee completes the form, an E-Vendor Agreement, and submits to the State Auditor's Office, it takes approximately 30 days to process the paperwork and activate the ability to receive payments electronically.

Please note that an employee who requests reimbursement for travel expenses is technically considered a vendor, Murphy explains.

The employee will be asked to create a "user name" and password or the State Auditor's Office will assign this information. "When the paperwork is processed, the employee will receive an email once a reimbursement is processed and payment is made," she said.

At that time, the employee may go to the VISTA site at the State Auditor's Office website to review the status of the payment, using their user name and password to gain access.

Studies show that the average person spends up to 24 hours each year standing in lines or sitting at a drive-through window of financial institutions. Safety is enhanced by using this program because payments cannot be lost or stolen. Nationally, more than four million paper checks are lost or stolen annually.

Murphy states that this program has been in effect for approximately one year. "We started it with companies so that they may receive payment quicker by having it directly deposited," she added. "After its success, we opened the program up to state employees for their reimbursement of their travel expenses."

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Purchase Order Summary for FY03


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  Noticeable and Cost-Effective Changes Made to Purchase Orders and RFQ Forms

November 20, 2003 marked a change in the manner in which the Purchasing Division prints its purchase orders and request for quotations.

In the past, the Purchasing Division would buy pre-printed forms and ship them to the IS&C Data Center to be stored. Each night, an operator would make sure the correct box of pre-printed forms was loaded on the printer.

Can you imagine how tedious it would be to load a box with only 10 percent of the forms left in it? As a result, the staff at the Data Center offered us a better, more efficient way to print these forms.

With the purchase of some new equipment, IS&C is now printing our purchase orders and request for quotations smarter and less expensive by using large rolls of plain white paper, which requires less manual intervention. The new equipment prints the form and the information at the same time, both sides at once!

IS&C charges more to print on the new equipment; however, there is still a savings to the state agencies because they no longer have to buy preprinted forms and store them. In our case, the Purchasing Division is expected to save more than $600 per year.

"The change is good because we no longer have to worry about running out of forms," says Purchasing’s Automation Manger, Dan Miller. "Plus, it frees up precious storage space. The money saved is just icing on the cake."

Our appreciation goes out to Cathy McClung, Mart Denison, and Phil Nicholas, all of IS&C, for making this positive change a reality.

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Retirement News

Best of luck to Kelby Napier of the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital, who retired effective December 12. She worked as a procurement officer for the hospital for nearly 30 years.

According to Susie Teel of the Department of Health and Human Resources, Kelby indicated that she has many good friends in the purchasing world in state government and that her co-workers have always been extremely helpful to her.

Enjoy your retirement, Kelby!

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MONEYWISE...Tips for the Thrifty

Guard your Identity

The Federal Trade Commission offers these suggestions in securing your identity:

w Shred pre-approved credit card solicitations. If your credit card bills are late, call the issuer.

w Don't give out your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary.

w Place a fraud alert on your credit reports with Experian (888) 397-3742; TransUnion (800) 680-7289, and Equifax                                   (800) 525-6285.

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New Statewide Contract for Lighting Awarded

A new statewide contract for lighting and bulbs has been awarded to Wesco Distribution Inc. of Huntington, WV.

Effective January 1, 2004, this contract covers incandescent, fluorescent, metal halide, high pressure sodium, general service lamps and fluorescent starters, special lamps and fixtures, lamps for audio-visual and lamp ballasts, according to Senior Buyer Betty Francisco.

She indicates that there are specific items that are excluded from this contract. As a result, a change order was issued since the entire list of excluded items did not print on the original contract, thus, requiring a change order to correct the listing.

When any of these excluded items are needed, agency purchasers should follow normal purchasing procedures, depending upon the dollar value.

Wesco's contact persons for this contract are Suzie Spencer and Kevin Vas Vary, who may be reached at (800) 367-3062 or (304) 529-7111 (FAX: 304-529-6146).

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CURRENT STATEWIDE CONTRACT UPDATE

Information and dates (as of December 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: MV
Description: Motor Vehicles
File: 23
Effective Date: 11/15/02
Vendors: Country Club Chrysler, General Truck Sales, Matheny Motors, Stephens Auto, Hurricane Chevrolet, Jack Garrett Ford, Glendale Motor Co., Whiteside Chevrolet

Contract: PC
Description: Police Cruisers
File: 23
Effective Date: 11/01/02
Vendors: Stephens Auto, St. Marys Ford, Country Club Chrysle
r

Contract: ENVLOP
Description: Envelopes
File: 42
Effective Date: 02/01/04
Vendor: Boise Cascad
e

Contract: LIGHT
Description: Lighting; Bulbs
File: 42
Effective Date: 01/01/04
Vendor: Wesco

Contracts to be Bid or Under Evaluation

Contract: DWASH
Description: Dishwashing Materials
File: 42
Bid Opening: 12/02/03
Under Evaluation: Yes

Contracts to be Renewed

Contract: DIAPER
Description: Diapers and Pads
File: 31
Vendor: Seneca Medical, Inc.
Expiration Date: 12/01/03

Contract: DEBT
Description: Debt Collection
File: 31
Vendor: Various
Expiration Date: 01/01/04

Contracts Extended

Contract: IP
Description: Information Processing Equipment
File: 21
Comments: Extended until further notice

Contract: IPTEMP
Description: Information Processing Temporary Services
File: 21
Comments: 06/30/04

Contract: DIGCOP
Description: Digital Copiers
File: 21
Comments: Extended until 03/30/0
4

Contract: N-TIRES
Description: Tires: Auto and Equipment
File: 23
Comments: Extended until 01/31/0
4

Contracts Cancelled

As noted in last month's issue of The Buyers Network, several statewide contracts were consolidated into the new WVARF04 statewide contract, which is being maintained by the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. The commodities under this contract (which replaces the individual statewide contracts previously issued) include key punch services, envelopes, stakes, wiping cloths, liquid spills, bottled water, microfilm services, bulk mail handling, liquid soap, dispensers and condiment kits.

Contracts to be Reviewed

JANUARY

File 31: TRAVEL
Travel Management Service
s

File 31: PCARD
Purchasing Card Program

File 31: LGLOVES
Latex Gloves

File 31: PHOTO
Photography Film and Supplies

File 33: WELD
Welding Supplies

File 42: PAINT
Paint and Supplies

FEBRUARY

File 23 FILTER
Filters: Oil, Air and Fuel

File 33: A/E BATT
Battery: Auto and Equipment

File 42: FLRMAC
Floor Machines


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 January 2004 Issue of The Buyers Network