Purchasing and contracting revamps some procedures

Purchase order form on a table

With a new management team in place, the UO’s Purchasing and Contracting Services office is making changes to ensure it offers its campus partners assistance in planning, negotiating and executing campus purchases

Craig Ashford, assistant general counsel for the UO, was appointed the office’s interim director last spring. In July, Greg Shabram, who previously worked for purchasing as a contracts officer, returned to the UO as the associate director after working for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle.

The new leadership team allows the entire department to re-evaluate its service model from top to bottom.

“It's always a struggle to balance efficiency, cost and public contracting compliance. We are removing barriers that have slowed PCS’ services and hindered our campus partners,” Ashford said. “We are empowering our own team and our campus partners to the extent possible to provide excellent customer service and support.”

Almost every faculty and staff member on campus works with Purchasing and Contracting Services at some point. The office collaborates with campus departments to procure the goods and services needed to allow the university to fulfill its core missions of education and research.

In an effort to meet these goals, Purchasing and Contracting Services has changed purchasing policies to better suit the university’s dynamic needs. It updated both the general purchasing policy and the procurement card policy.

These changes allow UO departmental purchasers greater authority and flexibility to facilitate the purchase of goods and services. The office is looking forward to working collaboratively with its campus partners to complete these policy and procedure changes.

Improvement won’t end there. Over the coming months the department will continue to identify and address ways to partner with campus buyers and find additional value for their purchases through cooperative purchases, buying plans and negotiations. In the meantime, purchasing will continue to evaluate policies and procedures and evolve with changing standards, technology and practices.