Procurement Changes

Spring is often a time of renewal and change. Our campus blooms with the new flowers of the season and the sun begins to peek through the clouds. We also have some exciting changes happening in the Office of Procurement Services.

Effective April 1, the staff in Contract Administration will became part of Procurement Services. They will continue to provide excellent service to the University while administering all contracts and agreements related to construction projects. This change will allow for all procurement of goods, services, and construction to be under one umbrella.

I am also pleased to announce that Mary Katherine Poole has recently joined our team as the new Director of Accounts Payable. She is a UA graduate who comes to us with a wealth of accounting experience. Please help her feel welcome as she becomes acclimated to her new position.

BuyBama

For some time now the Purchasing Department has been working on a solution to make it easier to buy from contract vendors and simplify the process of entering a requisition.  The new system, called BuyBama, gives users the ability to shop from many online catalogs under a single sign on.  It also streamlines the process of obtaining P-Card limit increases for purchases with contract vendors, and provides a more user friendly environment for entering requisitions.

I am pleased to announce that testing on BuyBama is nearing completion and we will soon be moving to the pilot phase.  You can expect to hear more about BuyBama as we begin implementation over the coming months.

Professional Services

Under the recently announced Professional Services policy, departments should no longer sign Professional Service Agreements.  Instead, they are to be routed to Contract Management for review and signature.  New templates have been created for Professional Service Agreements and Guest Speaker Agreements.  In collaboration with the Tax Office, Contract Management has developed a Professional Services Matrix to give guidance on the documentation required for various types of services.

Please visit the Professional Services webpage for more details and links to the necessary documents.

Professional Services and Independent Contractor Policies

Please carefully read the following announcements from the Office of Procurement Services:

  •  A new policy pertaining to the procedures for obtaining professional services was recently approved and is effective immediately.  Departments should refer to the policy when making arrangements for services that are not available through a standing contract.  Contract Management has created a Professional Services web page to serve as a reference for your convenience.  The site contains links to the new templates for Professional Service and Guest Speaker Agreements, a new Professional Service Matrix, the updated Independent Contractor Form, and the new Professional Services Policy.  All Professional Service and Guest Speaker Agreements should be routed through Contract Management for review and signature.  Departments will no longer be authorized to sign these agreements.
  • The independent contractor (IC) approval process, managed by the Tax Office, has also been updated.  The new IC Form is a user-friendly fillable PDF which can be automatically submitted by email to the Tax Office, then electronically signed and returned by email to the department.  The new IC Form includes more thorough questions which will reduce the need for follow-up inquiries. In addition, the new Independent Contractor Policy provides a useful reference for understanding the IC approval requirements.  Please visit the Tax Office-Independent Contractors webpage for more information.
  • We are pleased to announce that Contract Management has new simpler web addresses:  http://procurementcontracts.ua.edu.  Please make sure to update any bookmarks in your browser.

Happy New Year

January is a time for renewal and fresh starts.  We make plans for the new year and set personal or professional goals to work toward.  Why not make a New Year’s resolution to expand or refresh your knowledge of Procurement topics?  We offer training in several formats to accommodate scheduling needs. You may choose to attend an in-person class, view a quick training video, or complete an online tutorial.  We are always happy to customize and deliver special training sessions to meet the needs of your department.

We have also introduced a new certificate for those who complete all three of the basic Procurement courses.  Please see the article below or contact Jennifer Clark for more information.

Holiday Reminder

The holiday season is here!  As you are preparing for the winter break, please don’t forget to take care of any final procurement needs as early as possible.  Purchasing and Accounts Payable often get very busy in the days before the break.  Start now to avoid the rush.

Thank You!

I would like to thank you for all you do in pursuit of the mission of the University. The Procurement Services team is proud to partner with you in providing learning opportunities and services for our ever-growing student population, maintaining our beautiful campus, and meeting the needs of our world class researchers. We thank you for letting us be part of the tradition of success at The University of Alabama.

We have prepared a short video that highlights some of our milestones from the past fiscal year. Please take a moment to view it, and feel free to share with others in your department.

Year End Wrap-Up

Fiscal year end always comes with a flurry of activity, but things should be settling down over the next couple of weeks.  Our procurement staff have been working hard to support you through the process and make things work as smoothly as possible.  We appreciate your cooperation in this traditionally busy season.

Here are a few reminders for upcoming deadlines:

  • Travel vouchers and MDVs for expenditures made prior to September 30th must be submitted by October 8th in order to be posted in FY2014.
  • P-Card transactions with a September transaction date should be reconciled by October 14th.  As a reminder, please do not reconcile any new year transactions prior to October 16th.
  • To give you extra time to finalize everything, we have extended the deadline for turning in P-Card Packets until October 25th.

New Training Manager

Procurement Services is pleased to announce that Jennifer Clark has taken a new position within our office as training manager. Jennifer will be responsible for planning and leading training activities for Procurement Services. Opportunities for training can be found in this issue of the newsletter and on our Training Website.  Jennifer will be working with each of our departments within Procurement Services to develop on going curriculum that will benefit you, the end users. She has developed tutorials and training videos on many topics for your benefit in the areas of Purchasing Card and Accounts Payable with more to come.

Please welcome Jennifer to this new role within Procurement Services and sign up today for one of the many training opportunities in the month of September.