Volume 3, Number 1, 2003

CONTENTS


NIGP President's Letter .............................................................................................................................................. 1
J. A. Clark

Exploring Differences in the American States' Procurement Practices ....................................................................... 3
J. D. Coggburn

Controlling Warehouse Performance With Statistical Process Methods ..................................................................... 29
P. Lightfoot and R. G. Kauffman

Performance Measures for Evaluating the Financial Benefits of State Term Commodity Contracts ........................... 43
S. E. Celec, E. J. Nosari and D. Voich, Jr.

A Comparison of Purchasing's Organizational Roles and Responsibilities in the Public and Private Sector ............... 57
P. F. Johnson, M. R. Leenders and C. McCue

P-Card Utilization in Municipal Government: Advantages and Concerns ..................................................................... 75
J. L. Daly and M. A. Buehner

The Florida Sunshine Law and Evaluation Committees ................................................................................................ 95
K. W. Buffington


USEFUL REPRINTS

Highway Infrastructure: Preliminary Information on the Timely Completion of Highway Construction Projects .......... 108
U.S. General Accounting Office


BOOK REVIEW

You Don't Always Get What You Pay For: The Economics of Privatization ................................................................ 128
D. R. Shetterl

ABSTRACT. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and based on its professional judgment, it typically takes from 9 to 19 years to plan, gain approval for, and construct a new, major federally funded highway project that has significant environmental impacts. However, these projects constitute only 3 percent of all federally funded projects, according to FHWA. Officials in federal and state agencies and other knowledgeable organizations indicate that delivering larger, more complex or controversial projects may take longer to complete than is typical for most highway projects. In addition to needing more time because of their size and complexity, they often take longer to complete because they must comply with more federal and state requirements and because of the public interest that they may generate. Federal and state agencies have undertaken several initiatives to improve completion times for highway construction projects. Most of these initiatives address opportunities for reducing the time required to obtain environmental approvals.

ABSTRACT. A common justification for state term commodity contracts is that they are beneficial to taxpayers because of savings that result from the price concessions expected from volume purchasing. With the growing popularity of performance based budgeting in state legislatures, there is a clear need for performance measures to document these taxpayer benefits. Based on a survey of state purchasing offices and a review of the major purchasing associations and the academic literature, this paper develops guidelines and a set of performance measures for evaluating the financial benefits of state term commodity contracts.

ABSTRACT. Within each political subdivision of the state of Florida, there is an ordinance which applies to the procurement of goods and services for agencies under its jurisdiction. One common requirement in all these ordinances is the use of the Request for Proposal when purchasing goods or services above a given threshold. In contrast to an Invitation to Bid, the RFP is structured in such a way as to allow other criteria to be evaluated, along with the bottom line price submitted by vendors. The issue in this analysis is whether each meeting of the evaluation committee set up to review these criteria is subject to Florida's Sunshine Law. Several court decisions and opinions of Attorneys General have held that meetings of ad-hoc committees, advisory committees, and other panels of staff or non-staff members are subject to the Sunshine Law. It appears clear, after a discussion of a few cases relating to the Sunshine Law, that any agency procurement officer must be very careful to avoid even the suggestion of making any recommendation outside of the public view. Public notice should be posted at least seventy-two hours prior to any meeting of the committee. Only by closely adhering to both the letter and the intent of the law will procurement officers avoid having their agency brought into court for a violation of the Sunshine Law.

ABSTRACT. Agency management in the city of Houston, Texas, had a problem measuring and controlling maintenance, repair, and operations warehouse performance. This case study describes how better control can be achieved through application of statistical process control to certain activities. To develop the application, the agency viewed particular activities associated with warehousing as controllable processes. Historically, statistical process control has been applied mostly in a manufacturing or production environment as a means of maintaining an acceptable level of product quality. This case shows that statistical process control can be and is a useful tool for controlling and managing services in the public sector.

ABSTRACT. P-card (i.e., procurement card) programs have been praised as innovative means for procurement systems to save fiscal resources for municipal government while granting greater purchasing discretion for departmental endusers. Using Hillsborough County (Tampa), Florida as a case study, the authors identify four critical factors that influence the successful implementation of municipal P-card systems. In the final analysis, the authors suggest that the distinction between organizational success and failure for these programs is likely to be a factor of organizational commitment more than technical capacity.

ABSTRACT. This exploratory article examines the issue of state government procurement. It uses original survey data to create a measure of reformed state procurement practices, as suggested by the literature, and explores the ability of several variables from the state policy literature to explain observed differences in state procurement. Findings suggest that the states' procurement practices possess varying degrees of reform characteristics, that interest group diversity, legislative professionalism, results-oriented management, and regional effects each have significant relationships to state procurement practices, and that several "classic" explanations of state policy are not significantly related to state procurement practices. One implication is that procurement, like other forms of state administrative policy, may not be readily explained by widely utilized theories of state policy.

ABSTRACT. This research focuses on a comparison of public and private sector supply organizations in terms of organizational structure, supply chain responsibilities, the chief purchasing officer (CPO) and reporting line, teaming and involvement in major organizational activities. A unique opportunity to identify similarities and differences was presented in 2000 when the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing Research (NIGP) and Florida Atlantic University replicated in the public sector a study that the Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS) conducted in the private sector in 1995. Significant differences and similarities are identified and are discussed in this paper.

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