The Procurement Advisory Committee this past fiscal year completed three projects to reduce administrative burden and improve the procurement process.
The change with the most considerable impact reduces administrative burden for approximately 75,000 or 41% of averaged procurement card transactions submitted annually. Except when required by a sponsor or the department, procurement cardholders no longer have to submit receipts for expenses under $75. Cardholders still have to submit a business purpose to substantiate the cost. This new practice aligns with the travel policy issued earlier this year and with the transaction rules for nearly half of Cornell’s Ivy League peers. See the Buying Manual for more information on procurement card Documentation Requirements.
Also in alignment with Cornell’s peers, insurance certificates are no longer required for over 3000 purchase order vendors with an existing, documented relationship with Cornell, except in situations that present high risk or at the discretion of the procurement agent. Collecting insurance certificates from vendors has often been a complex process for departments. Now, all necessary certificates will be collected only by Procurement and Payment Services. Research and peer review supported that purchase order contracts already have adequate requirements and terms, so the risks are low of not collecting certificates from these vendors. See the Buying Manual for more information on Insurance Requirements.
The largest project undertaken resulted in streamlining the registration process for vendors and other payees for greater simplicity and transparency and faster turnaround times. PaymentWorks, the university’s vendor registration system, now has a simpler registration form and clearer automated communications to registrants about completing the process. To support business service centers, a new training tutorial is available in CULearn. What’s more, PaymentWorks is now being used to register students for taxable payments, such as prizes and awards, reducing paperwork and allowing students to securely register for direct deposit payments. For more on vendor registration, see Payee and Vendor Registration and Setup.
On the horizon, the committee will complete improvements to the independent contractor hiring process to address major pain points by clarifying and simplifying the service provider evaluation process.
The Procurement Advisory Committee is a cross-functional team of 30 representatives from various colleges, all business service centers, two college business officers, and Procurement and Payment Services. These projects were achieved through the cooperative efforts of the committee members, senior administrators, Risk Management and Insurance, University Audit, and University Counsel, and Procurement and Payment Services and Division of Financial Affairs staff members.