Q. What are some methods a grantee can use to avoid duplicative or unnecessary purchases?
A. The best way to avoid duplicate purchases is to have a good planning and procurement monitoring process that allows you to track who is buying what. If you can see, for example, that two departments are looking for similar goods or services, the Procurement office can work with them and combine into one acquisition. Likewise, if you can see that a department recently acquired goods or services, and now another department wants to buy the same or similar, you can see if the original purchase contains options or other means by which the second department can internally "piggyback" on the first contract.
The second issue regarding unnecessary purchases is one that should be identified by the user organization's internal review of individual procurement requests; i.e., by having every procurement request reviewed at a level above the individual who is preparing the requisition. The agency should have an internal review process for any proposed purchase that will prevent an unnecessary or unwanted item from reaching Procurement. However, the Procurement office should also make a habit of reading scopes and specifications, and where appropriate questioning the need or propriety of a proposed purchase. This can make the Procurement office very unpopular with some people, but it's a part of Procurement's responsibility. (Posted: September, 2013)