When building a procurement record-keeping system you must consider what documents should be placed on file, and how easy reviewer of those records will be able to reconstruct the entire procurement process in order to understand exactly how it was carried out from beginning to end.
One of the ways to do this is to ensure that procurement records are placed on file in such a manner that they give a complete picture of the entire procurement process.
Here are 3 ways to ensure procurement records tell a story.
1. Keep a record on each step of the procurement process
The procurement requisition and approval triggers the start of the procurement process. This must be kept on file along with records of the solicitation documents, the evaluation and selection process, contract negotiations and award, up to contract close out.
2. Keep record of any relevant communication carried out during the process
Important documents created during the procurement process must be kept on file for reference. There are solicitation documents, announcements, evaluations reports, contracts, and so on. There are also communications between the entities and individuals participating in the process: procurement officers, approving authority, evaluation panel members, and others. Keeping a record of such communication is very important to understand how the procurement process was undertaken.
3. Ensure records are placed on file in the order in which they occurred
Finally, common practice is to keep paper-based procurement records in reverse chronological order (the most recent record placed on top of the last). But placing them on file in the sequence in which they occurred helps to rebuild the story from start to finish sverige-ed.com.
What other ways can you think of to ensure procurement records tell a story?
Leave a comment.
Indeed interesting and timely posting.
We in India, are following the split file system inherited by British filing system. Most of the provincial states follows the same system. One side, we call them as note sheets and these note sheets capture the decision making process in the heirarchy of all officers. All the officers involved in the stage of the procurement process should involve and make comment/approve/return/pass on to the next stage. This system also builds in accountability and each officer comment is recorded as Paragraph 1.—–20 so on so forth.
The right side, as you mentioned, the filing may be top down (start to finish) or bottom up (finish to start);
Jorge Lynch says
So there are interesting similarities.
Let’s see what other examples other readers may have.
Ejaz Khokhar says
Thanks for valuable information on this important topic. We indeed also keep our record in Pakistan in a reverse chronological order; so that we can easily consult the file in case of any unforeseen exigency. Moreover; all letters, faxes, emails etc are linked with each other in a chronological sequence; so that in case of any dispute with supplier, one may refer the previous correspondence to him/her.
Jorge Lynch says
You’re welcome Ejaz. Procurement record keeping is an often neglected area of procurement in need of urgent attention. So it is good to know that you are on the right track.
Steven Twesigye says
Thanks Jorge. This is another area that is often neglected in public entities in Uganda. As you clearly stated, the records need to be placed in the order they occurred otherwise the story will be disjointed. One of the helpful tools to keep procurement records on a procurement action file is the use of a checklist. All vital records are listed on a checklist right from the time of initiation to contract performance evaluation and it works like a table of contents for the procurement file. It becomes easier for the Officer handling the procurement to identify which important records are missing on file and to tick off those that are present.
Jorge Lynch says
Thanks Steven, Indeed using checklists is invaluable in almost all stages of the procurement process. The process you described is simple to use, takes little time and gives great results, but getting practitioners to consistently apply it is a challenge.