BuyTrain News

March, 2005

  ISM News
Personal Development
Sox Again?
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Do you negotiate contracts, or just accept whatever offer the seller wants to make?


Seminar; A great opportunity for education. May 19 & 20, 2005

 We are pleased to have partnered with Thomas Tanel, C.P.M, CTL, CCA, President of the Cattan Services Group.  Mr. Tanel will be providing 2 full days of training on Strategic Sourcing and Measuring Supplier Performance.  It's been awhile since we have had any type of training in this manner in the State of Hawaii.  Be sure to sign up early.  There will be a limited number of seats.  To get a copy of the flyer , contact: Donna Alvaro  

Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference.

National Association of Purchasing Management - Western Washington will host the 62nd Pacific Northwest Purchasing Conference in Seattle, October 5-7, 2005. The program schedule is posted. Check out the web site for a list of the great programs and speakers. Reserve space in your schedule to participate.

Sox is definitely a hot topic! 

Last year, I pointed out that the requirements of the SOX act would touch many of us in purchasing. Today public companies, government contractors and even many privately owned companies are feeling the SOX audit heat. 

Of course, what many of us were unprepared for was the fact that SOX -related audits are not an exact science. SOX mostly redefined responsibilities and accountabilities. Company processes then have to be reviewed to determine if they provide sufficient coverage. Determining what to review and deciding what is sufficient has been a major growth industry for auditors. Tulane University Law School is even offering auditors a certification program in Corporate Governance.

In some cases, we have had to help the auditors understand exactly what professional purchasing brings to the table. Unfortunately, in many companies, we have had to defend our procurement practices after they have shown up in an audit report.

For many years, professional organizations like ISM and NCMA have touted the virtues of a professional purchasing staff. And we have risen to the occasion with training, certification and educational programs. Good supplier selection, efficient inventory management, and ethical contracting are all just part of our job.

Would have been helpful if we had taken the time to write it all down in clear language that the company could understand and help us implement. Sox is finally helping us get the point across to senior management. I really don't know how you write it so the auditors can understand (maybe Pig Latin). [BTW, did you know that you can set you google preferences to display in Pig Latin or even Elmer Fudd - I'll bet many auditors did]

How do we prepare and defend ourselves? Start now by gathering some information. ISM is sponsoring SOX seminars and workshops. Visit the ISM web site and perform a keyword search for SOX.  Improve your company procedural documentation by also doing a keyword search for procedures. If you need examples of purchasing procedures go to google and search the keywords "purchasing procedures".

Visit the Audit Net web site and read through some of the SOX information auditors are sharing with each other They now have a SOX on-line discussion group. Might be fun to sign up and see what auditors are talking about. The latest Audit Net newsletter mentioned that in April they plan to publish an audit template for purchasing audits - definitely something I plan to review.

Bottom line… I recommend that you not sit back and wait for the audit hounds to find you. Run now while you still have a chance….. or prepare.

Personal Development

O.K., so I know and you know… but do we have a piece of paper that says so? It's a typical auditor kind of question. The kind that hurts because you know in the long run the auditor is right.. Here's how it goes; read on... Is it Written


Reverse Auction; GAO Supports the Buyer!

Have you been wondering about the propriety of using Reverse Auctions? Concerned about government contract allowability? The GAO is on our side. A recent GAO decision is worth reading and keeping as backup.  Here's a summary and link to the determination.

MTB Group, Inc. protests that an online reverse auction (that is, an auction under which the lowest priced vendor will be issued a purchase order) being conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC), for housing inspection services, is improper because it requires the disclosure of vendors' prices during the auction.

We deny the protest.

- MTB Group, Inc., B-295463, February 23, 2005 


ISM News


2005 Leadership Workshop Schedules 

I highly recommend that everyone who wants to be active in the organization attend one or more leadership workshops! They are the best forum for exchanging information and enthusiasm that we have. Take a look at some of the discussion notes from previous workshops to get an idea. 


Provide Feedback and suggestions for future newsletters at any time. I'll try and use what I can.

I really do appreciate those of you who take the time to write and comment on this newsletter!  



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MLTWEB is assembled and maintained by Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M. 
Materials and articles prepared by Mike may be shared for purchasing education provided that this source is cited and no fee is charged. The rights for any other use are withheld.
Copyright;  Michael L. Taylor, C.P.M.
Last Updated: 05/23/2006