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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72310 Find in a Library
Title: Report to the Attorney General Regarding Survey of State Agency Purchasing Practices
Author(s): J W Kaestner
Corporate Author: Virginia Attorney General
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 126
Sponsoring Agency: Virginia Attorney General
Richmond, VA 23219
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A survey of Virginia's State agencies revealed substantial purchasing practice problems, including inadequate specifications, procedures which fail to assure competitive procurement of services, and poor monitoring of contractors' performances.
Abstract: Although State agencies are required to buy all goods from the Department of Purchases and Supply (DPS), they may make small purchases directly from a vendor without involving DPS. Approximately 90 agencies' responses to a comprehensive questionnaire indicated a general lack of written purchasing procedures providing detailed criteria for specifications, selection of vendors, and contracts. The existing selection practices do not provide the State with sufficient information on the vendor and tend to restrict access to the governmental market to companies located in a limited geographic area. State statutes do not require services to be purchased through competitive bidding. This situation, coupled with inadequate bidding requirements and purchasing procedures, places the State in a position in which it does not get the best price or service for its money and is vulnerable to manipulation by businesses. No clear understanding exists of what contractual terms are necessary to protect the agency. Many agencies simply sign contracts provided by the vendor. State departments also appear to accept a vendor's performance at face value without monitoring efforts. Written procedures are needed to disqualify vendors who fail to deliver contracted goods or services or are irresponsible, since three-quarters of the agencies surveyed had no such procedures. Most of the respondents had not experienced any disputes with vendors that required assistance from the Attorney General. The questionnaires with tabulated responses are appended, as are the survey's covering letter, a quesionnaire completed by DPA, and DPS materials on procurement practices. Types of services purchased by State agencies, services for which vendors draft specifications, and information on responses according to individual agencies are included.
Index Term(s): Government contracting; Grants or contracts; Procurement procedures; State government; Virginia
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