Government partnership is taking charge in Oregon
Portland, Ore. The city’s Bureau of Purchasing is in the process of implementing the city-wide use of a procurement card as an alternative to petty cash and field purchase orders. The city spearheaded a partnership initiative involving a number of Oregon agencies in the RFP process that led to a contract with Bank of America. It is the largest government entity to partner in a procurement card project, according to Purchasing Division Manager Linda Bidwell.
The procurement card is similar to a normal charge card and is becoming more popular for local governments. It allows workers to purchase small goods and services without having to resort to the time-consuming process of issuing a purchase order for each individual transaction.
The process is expected to save the city about $450,000 a year in administrative time alone. A company rebate boosts annual savings to about $500,000.
Additionally, vendors like the card because it does not cost any more to use and usually means they get paid more quickly. With traditional purchase order and invoicing transactions, it could take between 30 and 45 days to process payment. In fact, more vendors are accepting the cards because more local governments are using them.
Other Oregon agencies involved in the initiative include Clackamas County, the city of Eugene, the area’s transportation authority, the unified sewerage district, Portland Community College, the Portland public schools, the city of Lake Oswego, the city of Beaverton schools and the city of Gresham.