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Amherst Town Board expected to abolish Purchasing Department

The Town of Amherst is looking to improve how it handles contracts for everything from office supplies to big-ticket items like sewer pipes.

The Town Board at its meeting Monday, March 20 will consider abolishing its Purchasing Department and the position of purchasing director. The proposal was initiated by Councilmember Ramona Popowich and has support from the board's other four members who are listed as co-sponsors.

"It's been an ongoing process for us, to try to improve how the town does business," Popowich said. "This is just another step in this process."

The town's Purchasing Department was created in 2008 and last year a new director of purchasing was appointed. That person was let go in recent weeks in an agreement that Popowich described as "mutual."

In place of purchasing, the town would create a Department of Contract Compliance and Administration and a director for that office. That resolution also has support from all five board members.

"We found that we needed a change so we're moving from a purchasing format to a contract compliance format," Popowich said.

A new contract management system was instituted in the town about a month ago. The program was written by the town's Information Technology department to use for contract routing.

"Everybody can see on the computer where the contract is at any particular time," Popowich said. "Before, it was, 'Where is it? Whose desk is it on?' To me, it's making things much more efficient."

The Town Board meets at 7 p.m. in Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville.

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