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.