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ODU Wins National Government Purchasing Award

Old Dominion University's efforts to seek qualified bidders from small, women- and minority-owned businesses through its contract tendering has been recognized with a national award from the institute which oversees government purchasing.

Recently, ODU was awarded the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award (OA4), in recognition of the strong commitment the school's Department of Materiel Management staff has made in achieving that goal.

ODU is one of only 10 institutions in Virginia, as well as the state's first institution of higher learning, to receive the OA4 award. Across the country, only 109 government agencies and institutions have OA4 designation.

"This accreditation is an exceptional achievement for the Department of Materiel Management, not only because the department was able to meet the rigorous requirements that the accreditation provides, but because we are also the first agency to meet 90 percent of the criteria required to qualify," said Rick Berry, executive director of ODU's construction and procurement services.

"Given the international reach of NIGP, the limited number of agencies that have achieved this accreditation, and that ODU is the highest-scoring agency, this is truly an outstanding achievement."

Just last year, the commonwealth of Virginia granted ODU greater operational authority to procure materiel and information technology, under an agreement reached with approval of the university's Board of Visitors.

With Level II authority, ODU joins other schools in the state, such as Radford and James Madison universities, exempting it from review and reporting requirements for things like IT purchases, and the awarding of some contract for goods and services on campus.

In order to satisfy the state's requirements for Level II status, ODU was required to have been granted decentralized procurement authority from the Department of General Services; be in full compliance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act; adopt the state's "Rules Governing Procurement of Goods, Services, Insurance and Construction"; maintain certification through the Virginia Contracting Officer Certification Program; and establish, adopt and achieve the university's goals for small, women- and minority-owned business (SWAM) procurement.

This article was posted on: May 19, 2010

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