Procurement Reviews with PrimeroEdge

The Background

Every three years state agencies are tasked with conducting Procurement Reviews of all their School Food Authorities (SFAs). The regulations established by the USDA require agencies to report findings, technical assistance, and corrective action, among several other steps to ensure compliance and accountability. Over time, we’ve seen this process change from being extremely manual and cumbersome to manageable with the help of technology.

Using the Procurement Review Tool

As recently as 2016, the USDA introduced its Draft Local Agency Procurement Review Tool to help state agencies evaluate SFA procurement procedures, assess compliance, capture technical assistance provided, and establish findings and required corrective actions.

Using a spreadsheet workbook was a great start and provided clear guidance on how to review the procurement practices of School Food Authorities (SFAs). Spreadsheets are great for organizing, calculating, and analyzing large amounts of data, but they are easily broken and will require one-on-one coaching to be completed for the first time.

The spreadsheet solution also requires the user to provide the required documents via email or to an online drive. This model segments the review into several disconnected parts: communication, document handling, and the procurement table. Each of these parts are essentially managed in completely separate places. This works inside the review cycle, but could become very cumbersome to compile when the USDA Regional Office completes a Management Evaluation of the process two years into the future. As personnel and office technology change, it gets easier to lose files, email, and spreadsheets if they are not all in the same place.

A Simpler Solution?

In our experience working with multiple state customers, we’ve become keenly aware of the challenges the procurement review process imposes on their overall goal to provide resources and training to feed kids. To that end PrimeroEdge has added an intuitive solution which incorporates Procurement Reviews into our Reviews module, this allowing state agencies to:

  • Manage the Annual Review Cycle
  • Manage the review schedule and review assignments
  • Communicate the review process to the reviewer and SFA
  • Provide a cloud-based Procurement Table and Procurement Selection Chart
  • Centralize the upload, organization, and storage of procurement documents
  • Keep all communication documents inside the review including notifications to trigger SFA/Reviewer action
  • Communicate online Findings and Technical Assistance to the SFA

This tool also allows the SFA to submit their Corrective Action Plans for acceptance by the State Agency. Yes, even SFAs can have access to this tool, able to access only the tasks and information that pertain to them.

With the added efficiencies built  into our web-based tool, state agencies will be able to effectively complete the required procurement review process in record time while keeping all documents, forms, and communications in a central location for accountability and ease of access.

Want to see this solution in action? Join our live webinar on March 15th at 10:00 AM CST/11:00 AM EST.

About the Author: Daniel Todd

Daniel is a Program Specialist on the State Solutions Product Management team. Prior to joining PrimeroEdge he was a State Agency Coordinator for 14 years where he was the technical assistance resource for Eligibility, Direct Certification, Verification, Annual Reports, and Procurement. He has helped procure and implement several statewide software projects including, NSLP Contracts, NSLP Claims, Reviews, to over 700 schools.