WEST VIRGINIA PURCHASING DIVISION
1.0 GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1 Mission Statement: The mission of the West Virginia Purchasing Division is to provide valued services to our customers by making sound and effective decisions in accordance with state law. As a customer-driven organization, we strive to exercise prudent and fair spending practices in acquiring quality goods and services in a timely fashion at the lowest possible price; to continually improve the services we offer to maximize the efficiency of state government; and to provide leadership and guidance to our customers: state agencies, vendors, legislators and the general public, while building lasting business relationships.
1.2 Statutory Authorization: The Purchasing Division was created and its duties are defined in the West Virginia Code, §5A-3-1 et seq. According to the Code, the Purchasing Division was created for the purpose of establishing centralized offices to provide purchasing, travel, and leasing services to the various state agencies. The Purchasing Division offers many other services to state agencies, political subdivisions, and the vendor community. These programs include, but are not limited to, Acquisition and Contract Administration, Surplus Property Program, Travel Management, Purchase Order Encumbrance and Inventory Management.
1.3 Regulatory Authorization: The Purchasing Division functions in adherence to its Legislative Rules and Regulations (148 CSR 1). This Legislative Rule is included in this manual in Appendix D and serves as an explanation and clarification of operative procedures for the purchase of commodities and services by the Purchasing Division. It applies to all spending units of state government, except those statutorily exempted.
1.4 Required Use of Handbook: State procurement officers and their support staffs are required to use this handbook to perform procurement and other related activities.
1.5 Organization: The Purchasing Division is organizationally structured under the West Virginia Department of Administration. The sections within the division are detailed below:
Acquisition and Contract Administration Section:
Process all purchases expected to exceed $25,000
Communication and Technical Services Section:
Program Services Section:
1.6 Disclaimer: The Purchasing Division Procedures Handbook is provided for reference purposes only. This handbook may be amended or changed at any time at the discretion of the Purchasing Director to ensure compliance with the laws, rules and procedures of the Purchasing Division and the State of West Virginia. Exceptions to these guidelines require written requests to and approval by the Purchasing Director.
1.7 Public Records: All records in the Purchasing Division related to purchase orders and contracts are considered public records. The only exemptions to disclosure of information are listed in the West Virginia Code §29B-1-4. All bids, proposals or offers submitted by vendors shall become public information and are available for inspection during normal business hours. All public information may be released with or without a Freedom of Information request.
The submission of any information to the Purchasing Division by a vendor puts the risk of disclosure on the vendor. Upon the written request of a vendor, the Purchasing Division will make a reasonable effort not to disclose information that is within the guidelines of §29B-1-4. The Purchasing Division does not guarantee non-disclosure of any information to the public.
Copies of records are available upon written request from the vendor. A cost of 50 cents per page (minimum of $10) is charged to furnish copies. Copy charges must be paid in advance. Copies of most bids can be obtained from the Purchasing Division website (www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/bids).
1.8 Ethics: State procurement officers have the responsibility of purchasing commodities used in the operation of public programs and services in the most effective and efficient method available. In performing this task, certain guidelines based on the West Virginia Code must be followed. Our ethical standards must be of the highest degree since public funds are being used.
The Purchasing Division abides by the Code of Ethics created by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP), which is found in Appendix F.
1.9 Automated Purchasing System: The automated purchasing system, referred to as TEAM (Team Effort for Acquisition Management) officially went into effect July 15, 1991, to enable state agencies to enter requisitions electronically. The goal of the system was to improve the access, efficiency and management of information regarding the procurement of commodities and services necessary to operate state government.
TEAM offers many beneficial features, including but not limited to, online requisition entry, internal agency approval procedures, statistics compilation, RFQ preparation, and purchase order information and status. Training is available to new and experienced users. State agencies should refer to the TEAM Training Handbook with their questions. For additional information, please call (304) 558-2314.
1.10 Violations: The laws that govern the public purchasing process are strict and demand the highest degree of discretion and ethical behavior. The West Virginia Code addresses penalties for violating purchasing procedures:
§5A-3-17: Purchases or contracts violating article void; personal liability
If a spending unit purchases or contracts for commodities contrary to the provisions stated in the Code or the rules and regulations, such purchase or contract shall be void and of no effect. The head of such spending unit shall be personally liable for the costs of such purchase or contract and, if already paid out of state funds, the amount may be recovered in the name of the state in an appropriate action instituted therefore.
§5A-3-29: Penalty for violation of article
Any person who violates a provision of the Code, except where another penalty is prescribed, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in jail not less than ten (10) days nor more than one (1) year, or fined not less than $10 dollars nor more than $500, or both, in the discretion of the court.
§5A-3-30: Obtaining money and property under false pretenses or by fraud from state; penalties
It shall be unlawful for any person to obtain from the state under any contract made under the Code, by false pretense, token or representation, or by delivery of inferior commodities, with intent to defraud, any money, goods or other property, and upon violation thereof, such person shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years, and be fined not exceeding $1,000.
§5A-3-31: Corrupt combinations, collusions or conspiracies prohibited; penalties
It shall be unlawful for any person to corruptly combine, collude or conspire with one (1) or more persons with respect to the purchasing or supplying of commodities or printing to the state under the Code if the purpose or effect is either to lessen competition, or cause the state to pay a higher price, or cause one prospective vendor to be preferred over another.
§5A-3-32: Power of Director to suspend right to bid; notice of suspension
The Director shall have the power and authority to suspend, for a period not to exceed one (1) year, the right and privilege of a vendor to bid on state purchases when the Director has reason to believe that such vendor has violated any of the provisions of the purchasing law or rules and regulations.
§5A-3-33: Review of suspension by Cabinet Secretary
Any vendor whose right to bid on state purchases has been suspended by the Director under the authority of West Virginia Code §5A-3-32, shall have the right to have the Director's action reviewed by the Cabinet Secretary (of the Department of Administration), who shall have the power and authority to set aside such suspension.
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