The Purchasing Department of the City of Roswell is tasked with managing the procurement of items,
property, services and construction for all city departments. Carrying out that responsibility are Lupita Everett, who is the Purchasing Agent and Ana Nieto, who is Purchasing Tech II. Both are C.PO.s (Chief Procurement Officers).
Lupita and Ana work to ensure all purchases follow the City of Roswell, State of New Mexico and federal procurement rules, regulations and codes.
Ana has worked for the City of Roswell for five and a half years, all but one year with the Purchasing Department. Ana’s day usually consists of answering emails, respond to vendor calls, assisting or training city staff from any number of departments with daily procurement, processing purchases made with a p-card (city credit card), adding and managing fuel cards issues to city staff, updating and adding vendors for the city and offering support for the competitive solicitation process.
Ana Nieto, Purchasing Tech II.
Lupita has been a city employee since August 2013, first in Accounts Payable and then transitioning to the Purchasing Department in 2015. Lupita’s day-to-day priorities constantly change, but taking care of emails and paperwork is a constant. Any given day she might guide departments through their RFPs and bids, follow up on contracts for purchases or services, review and process purchase orders, train and assist city staff, respond to vendor calls and ensure purchases are made correctly and follow procurement rules. And, of course, there could be an Emergency Procurement to process, such as when a water-line breaks and needs to be fixed immediately to ensure residents’ access to water continues. Some purchases may be made if the department does not have the required equipment or parts. Lupita steps in to ensure proper procurement procedures are followed and the purchases are made in a timely, efficient and ethical manner.
Lupita Everett, Purchasing Agent
Both Lupita and Ana work to keep up with the constantly changing rules and updated procurement code. Every two years they have to attend classes and test to re-certify as Chief Procurement Officers.
Per state statute, the City of Roswell must issue an RFP or bid when a purchase with costs that are more than $60,000 is needed, unless a cooperative purchasing contract or price agreement can be utilized. An RFP outlines a scope of work and requests responses that explain how the service or goods provider will meet the outlined needs. Each RFP has a project manager, who is the representative of the relative city department. The Purchasing Agent, C.P.O. or Purchasing Tech II will manage an evaluation committee to evaluate all of the submitted proposals and then award the RFP. An evaluation committee consist of city staff and subject-matter or industry experts from the community.
A bid is a competitive sealed solicitation in which the city is looking for the lowest cost to accomplish or provide a commodity the city needs. Going out for competitive solicitation (bid) allows the city to be as fair as possible with both vendors and the city’s spending. Bids require detailed documentation with specifications on what a city department is looking for. When responses come back, the city looks for which bidder would meet the needs outlined at the lowest price. Compared to an RFP, a bid gives more specific specifications for the particular commodity or construction the city department is looking for.
All bids and RFPs are posted in the Roswell Daily Record and on the city website. Depending on the project or commodity sought after, the bid or RFP may be posted in other state or other regional newspapers.
As the City of Roswell Purchasing Department staff does its job, Lupita asks, “Are we purchasing in the best possible way…according to city, federal and state rules, codes and regulations” with every purchase made by every city department. The goal is to make sure the city is spending tax dollars wisely and thus making the most of each department’s budget.