STREAMLINING PURCHASES WITH A CLICK
The Washington, D.C., school system has begun using “Quik-Clik” programs to improve its financial management and human resources departments.
Officials say the programs will transform the school district's procurement process by reducing the time-consuming step of generating purchase orders for many transactions.
“It used to take days or weeks worth of people-hours to pay bills,” says Chief Operating Officer Louis Erste in a news release. “It now will take 15 minutes electronically.”
The district also has established an online purchasing system for ordinary procurement and plans to create a workflow system that routes purchase orders for approval. The program will allow individual schools to manage their budgets more effectively.
On the Human Resources side, the “Quik-Clik” system will allow employees to view their payroll deductions or update their addresses and phone numbers online.
PROCUREMENT-CARD PROGRAM IN ILLINOIS
The Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) has established a procurement-card program that it says will help school districts, community colleges and other educational entities in the state streamline their purchasing procedures.
The “p-cards” will allow schools to reduce their acquisition costs by reducing the paperwork and bureaucracy associated with transactions, increase budget controls, and provide better reporting of financial expenditures. Administrators can use the Internet to review purchases via detailed reports generated by the system.
The system can customize each card to reflect the spending authority of each individual user and can limit purchases to authorized vendors.
In addition to IASBO, the program is sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois Principals Association.
MASSACHUSETTS TO UPGRADE PURCHASING SYSTEM
In an effort to streamline operations and cut costs for governmental agencies, the state of Massachusetts says it will upgrade its web-based system for purchasing goods and services.
The enhancement of the state's seven-year-old Comm-PASS system will be launched in Spring 2004. The online procurement system will be accessible at no charge to public schools, including the university and state college system.
The program will enable vendors to submit bids and proposals online. Schools and other public agencies will be able to reduce their paperwork, acquire goods and services more quickly, and obtain better pricing by using the combined purchasing power of governmental agencies in Massachusetts.
The costs of the technology upgrade will be covered by fees paid by vendors for value-added services.
U.S. PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL EXPENDITURES, 2000-01
|Non-instructional expenses||$14.6 billion|
|Replacement equipment||$7.9 billion|
|Purchased services||$6.4 billion|
|Source: National Center for Education Statistics, “Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2000-01.”|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, “Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education, 2000-01.”