SUMMARY OF: A Special Report on the Department of Administration’s Professional Services Procurement Process, October 17, 2006.

Purpose of the Report

In accordance with Title 24 of the Alaska Statutes and a special request by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, we have conducted an audit to review and analyze all formal professional services procurements at the Department of Administration (DOA) over the previous two years. In addition, we identified any improvements that could be made to the procurement code.

Report Conclusions

There were no systematic violations of Alaska’s procurement code by the Department of Administration; however, several avoidable errors did occur during the procurement process. Some changes could be made to the procurement code to improve efficiency and enhance competitiveness. Overall, vendors are generally satisfied with the procurement process.

The avoidable errors were a result of (1) misplacing a portion of a vendor’s proposal combined with a subsequent misunderstanding between the State and the vendor on how to move forward with a modified procurement process; (2) poorly-designed timelines in a request for proposals (RFP) for a replacement payroll system; and (3) poorly written RFPs.

Findings and Recommendations

  1. Changes to improve the procurement code are necessary.
    1. Consider removing or modifying the requirement that contractor listings be maintained.
    2. The DOA commissioner and chief procurement officer should seek to modify AS 36.30.210(e) and AS 36.30.110(b) to make a business license necessary at the time of contract award.
    3. The DOA commissioner and chief procurement officer should reevaluate the Alaskan offeror and Alaskan bidder procurement preferences.
    4. The DOA commissioner and chief procurement officer should consider policies to better safeguard vendor proposals.
  2. The Division of Administrative Services (DAS) should ensure RFPs contain clear and realistic timeframes for all phases of the proposal evaluation process.
  3. The Division of General Services (DGS) should institute review procedures to ensure RFPs are clear and unambiguous before release.