The purchasing function is a service. The purchasing department in a county with centralized finance/purchasing system is a service agency for all other departments in the county. The purchasing department supplies the purchasing needs of all departments as prescribed by a general law of local application (CFMS of 1981 or County Purchasing Law of 1957) or private act. In performing this function the purchasing department is charged with optimizing the quality, service, and price in the purchase of goods and services. The purchasing department is in constant contact with other departments, and cooperation and mutual confidence is absolutely essential. The purchasing department should be knowledgeable of and must be in understanding with the particular requirements of the user departments (departments requesting goods or services), material and equipment needs, and must exercise tact, discretion, and diplomacy to establish harmonious relations with the other departments.1
The purchasing department is the real link between other departments in the county government and its potential and existing suppliers. How well the purchasing department coordinates and performs its duties has a great influence on the performance of other county departments.
1George W. Alijan, et al., The Purchasing Handbook, Third Edition, (New York, NY, McGraw- Hill 1973), 3-21.