ISSUE AREA 2: Purchasing Division Should Improve the Collection of Certain
Certain management information is not collected by the Purchasing Division that is useful to improve the procurement process, and identify areas that may need improvement. This information includes Quality Assistance (QA) reviews, vendor performance complaints, and vendor protests. The Executive Director of Purchasing indicated that QA reviews are not conducted on a formal level because Purchasing does not have an appropriate number of staff. Having QA reviews performed on a regular basis could possibly indicate whether or not agencies are conforming to proper purchasing procedures.
The Executive Director does not monitor vendor performance complaints, but he indicated
that written vendor performance reports occur in less than 1% of all transactions. However, there
are many more verbal complaints by state agencies to Purchasing Buyers or to the Executive
Director. There is a benefit in requiring agencies to submit vendor performance forms on good or
bad performance on contracts with a value greater than a certain amount. If vendors know ahead
of time that their performance will come under a certain amount of scrutiny, then these vendors
would be more apt to deliver their goods and/or services in a timely and efficient manner.
There are basically three different levels of protests that a vendor can pursue: 1st, 2nd, and court level. Of all the contracts that are awarded each year, the Executive Director estimates that approximately less than 1% result in any type of protest. Currently, Purchasing does not keep records of the number of protests that reach the 1st, 2nd, or court level. Keeping a complete and accurate record of all protests can be a good management tool used to gauge the performance of the procurement system. For instance, if records of protests were kept, then Purchasing could monitor whether or not there was an increase in the number of protests from year to year.