Updated policies streamline purchasing and contracting

Purchasing and Contracting Services employees

UO Purchasing and Contracting Services has streamlined its processes for how university employees buy goods and services.

The updated policies and procedures went into effect Nov. 1. PCS is offering trainings about the changes in November and December

Among the updates are changes to the informal procurement process, clarifications about exemptions to competitive purchasing and new training opportunities. The office began a process of improving services with the launch of the UO purchasing portal and Duck Depot in 2016.

“These changes are designed to make buying goods and services easier,” said Greg Shabram, the UO’s chief procurement officer. “The goal is to save time and money by streamlining processes, reducing paperwork and creating a more central, understandable and automated system.”

Changes like these contributed to the National Institute for Procurement’s decision to name Purchasing and Contracting Services as a winner of the 2019 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award. 

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation “has worked closely with PCS on a number of large procurements for software and equipment,” said Cass Mosely, senior associate vice president for research and innovation. “With the help of PCS, we’ve obtained significant savings and additional functionalities.”

More information on procurement can be found on the procurement webpage. Trainings are scheduled for Nov. 20, Dec. 3 and Dec. 12. Employees can sign up in the UO Purchasing Portal under “Register for a PCS Class.”

In addition to these changes, the office recently posted procedures related to the acceptance of e-signatures, allowing the UO to accept documents signed with e-signature systems like DocuSign and AdobeSign.

Purchasing and Contracting Services will host open office hours Nov. 20 to discuss the updates in procedures and answer questions at its office, 1600 Millrace Dr., suite 306. “These procedural and systemic changes will give us all new tools to find creative solutions to get the best value for UO,” Shabram said. “PCS isn’t just a compliance office; we are here to provide strategic business services to help the university achieve its goals. We take a continuous improvement approach to all that we do and welcome feedback and questions.”