Sunday, October 21, 2012

Tune-up Your Procurement Policies

Procurement Policies, sometimes referred to as Purchasing Policies, help guide public agencies in how they solicit and contract for goods, services, and construction.

Checklist:  Here's a quick checklist of issues to pay attention to with your Procurement Policies:
  • Do you have Procurement Policies?  If you don't have Procurement Policies, it's a good idea to develop a document to guide how you intend to manage your procurement and contracting functions.
  • Where are your Procurement Policies?  Are they only gathering dust on a shelf or is the only copy locked in someone's desk?  A good practice is to make your Procurement Policies available online and easy to find.
  • When were your Procurement Policies last updated?  Are your Procurement policies up to date?  Do you have a regular process to review and update them on an annual basis?  Procurement Policies that were adopted years ago may not reflect what your actual practices are and may not comply with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Are you following your Procurement Policies?  Are your agency's actual practices and your Procurement Policies consistent with one another?  Which one reflects best practices and compliance with the law?  Auditors will generally audit your agency based on your compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and your compliance with your Procurement Policies.
  • Do your Procurement Policies comply with laws?  Are your Procurement Policies in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations?
  • Have your staff been trained?  Do the appropriate staff in your agency know what's in the Procurement Policies?  Have they been trained?  When was the last time they were trained?
  • Are Your Procurement Policies clear?  Are your Procurement Policies clear, without ambiguity, easy to read and follow so your staff understands what is expected?
Action step:  Schedule a regular, annual tune-up of your Procurement Policies. The end of the year and start of a new year is a good time to conduct this tune-up.

Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog 
© 2012 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC

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