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AMADOR COUNTY PURCHASING DEPARTMENT

Authority for Review

Grand Jury jurisdiction provided by Penal Code Section 925.

Background

Periodic review of County agencies.

Method of Review

Interview with Purchasing Agent
Interview with County Auditor
Interview with department personnel
Review of documents including Policies and Procedure Manual for Purchasing Procedure and Purchasing Requisition Forms
Review of procedures within the Purchasing Department and Auditor's Department

Findings

The Purchasing Department is a division of the General Services Administration. The purchasing process is the acquisition, accountability, and disbursement of County equipment, supplies and services. All 17 County departments use the Purchasing Department services.

The Amador County Purchasing Agent has recently drafted written policies for the County Policies and Procedures Manual. The policies follow the guidelines of purchasing ordinances in the Municipal Codes and the State Government Codes. The policies do not change the Municipal Codes but provide clarifying details.

In the current system an approved six page Purchase Requisition from the requesting department is entered into a Purchasing Department computer system and an order is printed out. The order is then hand carried to the Auditor's Department where it must be entered into their computer system. That system verifies the availability of funds in the requesting department's budget, and only then is the order released for placement with a vendor.

A new system has been designed and tested which will link the Purchasing and Auditors Departments' computers and perform the verification automatically. This linking system will serve to coordinate payment for goods received, minimizing the risk of double payment. This system is planned for implementation July 1, 1997. The new linkage system will require only a three page requisition form.

All departments keep inventories of parts and supplies low and only order as needed and maintain their own records. There is no centralized inventory control or linkage between computer systems of the various departments.

The Purchasing Department's long term goals are an expanded system that would allow them to keep track of inventory, bid vendor list, history of each department's ordering patterns, instant vendor pricing and delivery information.

The Purchasing Department has an agreement with San Joaquin County to help them purchase jointly selected items to take advantage of volume discounts.

Conclusions

The new computer linkage system should reduce form costs, employee hours and processing delays in the purchasing procedures. It should also reduce the possibility of entry errors and double billing.

A centralized computer inventory control and purchasing system would help prevent inventory duplication, interdepartmental paperwork and budget overruns.

Recommendations

Develop an expanded centralized computer system to link all County departments' purchasing and inventory to the Purchasing computer system.

Implement the planned Purchasing and Auditors Departments' computer linking system on July 1, 1997.

Response Required

The Amador County Grand Jury requests the Amador Board of Supervisors, the General Services Administrations Director and the County Auditor to respond within 90 days as required by Penal Code Section 933(c).
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