Quality assurance is a partnership involving the state agency, the vendor and the Purchasing Division. The agency establishes the quality level by the specifications, and the Purchasing Division seeks to reduce cost and maintain quality through the competitive bid process. The agency and the Purchasing Division perform an evaluation of the offers by bidders to obtain maximum benefit for the tax dollars spent. The vendor's responsibility is to provide the quality level established by the specifications and accepted by the agency.

10.1 Agency Responsibilities

10.1.1 Proper Acquisition Planning: The agency's first step is to determine the commodity that is needed, the quantity, the quality level, delivery location and time frame. All offers in the evaluation process will be compared to the standards established in the specifications for award.

10.1.2 Receiving: State agency personnel must verify the shipment of commodities with the specifications in the purchase order while reporting of any discrepancies, obvious damages or shortages based upon the purchase order specifications. (See Section 6.3)

10.1.3 Closing of Purchase Order: Agencies should close all encumbered purchase orders in TEAM after receipt of commodities or last payment made.

10.1.4 Inventory: Once payment has been made to the vendor and the I-document established, reportable property must be added to the WVFIMS Fixed Assets System. (See Appendix G)

10.1.5 Vendor Performance: Vendor performance and product quality is crucial in the state purchasing process. When these factors do not meet expectations, agencies are encouraged to contact the vendor and voice their concerns. Complaints should be resolved expeditiously and courteously, preferably by the state agency.

After all attempts have failed by the agency to resolve the issues, the complaint should immediately be referred to the Purchasing Division on the Vendor Performance Form (WV-82) documenting all steps taken to try to resolve the problem, and all written vendor responses. Vendor Performance Form: The Vendor Performance Form (WV- 82) is to be used to report all incidents of vendor performance, both positive and negative, even if a resolution has been reached.

When assistance is requested, a Purchasing Division official will notify the vendor directly in writing of the problem.

The Vendor Performance Form is to be sent to the Purchasing Division, 2019 Washington Street, East, P.O. Box 50130, Charleston, WV 25305.

10.2 Purchasing Division Responsibilities: The Purchasing Division is responsible for ensuring that the purchase of or contract for commodities and printing shall be based whenever possible on competitive bid.

10.2.1 Specification Review: The Purchasing Division will review all specifications submitted by an agency to ensure that the specifications are complete and open to competition.

10.2.2 Evaluation: The Purchasing Division staff reviews all evaluations and recommendations for award for validity and consistency. In Best Value Procurement techniques, the Purchasing Division requires and provides training to all agency evaluation committee members to ensure proper evaluation procedures are followed and quality evaluations are submitted in standard format. (See Section

10.2.3 Contract Administration: Although the agency is responsible for monitoring vendor performance and compliance with the specifications on a daily basis, the Purchasing Division assists with dispute resolutions when needed. It is preferred that agency personnel and the vendor exhaust all avenues in an effort to resolve the dispute prior to the Purchasing Division's intervention. Situations where the vendor has breached contract or established a pattern of poor performance, the Purchasing Division may cancel the contract and/or suspend the vendor from further participation in the competitive bid process. In the event that bonds have been posted by the vendor, the Purchasing Division may also institute action to recover any damages identified from the vendor's surety.

10.2.4 Training: The Purchasing Division provides a variety of training to state agencies in an effort to increase the level of proficiency. Annual conferences are usually conducted for agency procurement officers.

In addition, on-going training is offered by the Purchasing Division in various methods, including the in-house training curriculum which offers classes throughout the year at the State Capitol Complex and online modules available on the Purchasing Division's website. Webinars on various topics are also offered throughout the year.

In order to be knowledgeable of purchasing requirements, laws and procedures, it is highly recommended that agency designated procurement contacts participate in the available purchasing training opportunities. In accordance with the Code of State Rules 148CSR1, all purchases must be approved by the secretary or head of the spending unit, or a designee, whose name shall be filed with the Director. The person(s) named should take available purchasing training and have responsibility for the function of purchasing. Each spending unit shall process all purchases through this person(s), who shall be responsible for correspondence and communication with the Purchasing Division.

The Purchasing Division strongly encourages agency procurement officers to provide additional internal training for their staff. Agency personnel should always consult with the agency procurement officer in all purchasing matters.

10.3 Vendor Responsibilities: Each vendor is solely responsible for delivering a bid to the Purchasing Division prior to the specified date and time of the bid opening. The official time clock of the Purchasing Division, for the purpose of receipt of bids, shall be displayed in the offices of the Purchasing Division. Vendors are responsible for the accuracy of the information on and in the bid envelopes.

10.3.1 Compliance with Specifications:

Successful vendors are required to meet or exceed the quality level accepted and specified on the final purchase order in addition to meeting delivery requirements.

10.3.2 Follow-Up with Suppliers:

To ensure delivery deadlines are met, the vendor should communicate and coordinate with its suppliers to fulfill delivery obligations.

10.3.3 Dispute Resolution:

The vendor is required to negotiate in good faith with agency personnel should a dispute arise.

10.3.4 Remedies

In the event that a vendor fails to honor any contractual term or condition, the Director may:

(a) Cancel the contract and re-award the purchase order to the next lowest bidder. The vendor failing to honor contractual obligations is responsible for all differences in costs;

(b) Declare a vendor non-responsible or non-responsive and refuse to award a purchase order. All such instances shall be substantiated in writing. The documentation shall be considered a public document and shall be available for inspection at all reasonable times; or

(c) Suspend, for a period not to exceed one (1) year, the right of a vendor to bid on state purchases when there is reason to believe the vendor has violated any of the provisions, terms, or conditions of a contract, this rule or state law. A suspended vendor may appeal the decision of the Director to the Secretary of Administration.

The following are adequate grounds for suspension:

(i) A vendor has exhibited a pattern of poor performance in fulfilling his or her contractual obligations to the state. Poor performance includes, but is not limited to, a vendor providing or furnishing commodities, services or printing, materials, or services late, or at a quantity or quality level below that which is specified in the contract.

(ii) The vendor has breached any contract entered into pursuant to the provisions of West Virginia Code, §5A-3-1, or Legislative Rule; or

(iii) The vendor has been convicted of any federal, state or local crime punishable as a felony, directly related to the performance of a contract entered into pursuant to West Virginia Code, §5A-3-1 et seq. or Legislative Rule.

10.3.5 Damages

A vendor who fails to perform as required under a contract shall be liable for actual damages and costs incurred by the state.

 If any merchandise delivered under a contract has been used or consumed by an agency and on testing is found not to comply with specifications, no payment may be approved by the Director for the merchandise until the amount of actual damages incurred has been determined.

The Purchasing Director shall seek to collect damages by following the procedures established by the Office of the Attorney General for the collection of delinquent obligations.

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