Va. celebrates electronic procurement milestone

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine highlighted a system this week that has saved the state more than $280 million since it came online in 2001. The state’s electronic procurement system, eVA, has saved the state by streamlining the purchase process for state agencies and improved transparency, the Governor said.

“eVA has increased the Commonwealth’s efficiency, reduced the cost of government, and allowed us to leverage our buying power,all critical objectives during these tough budget times,” Governor Tim Kaine said in a statement.

According to the Commonwealth’s numbers, eVA has procured in excess of $20 billion in goods and services, through more than five million solicitations. 171 state agencies and 575 local governments do business using eVA, and in 2008 eVA processed nearly 600,000 purchase transactions.

CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc., was originally contracted to build the system and this June, the company received a follow-on deal worth $70 million to maintain eVA through 2016.

eVA has been hailed as a “best-of-breed principle” because the bid evaluation process and the lifecycle management of contracts, master agreements, and purchase orders is available on the Internet. Perhaps most attractive about the system to other states looking to overhaul their procurement process, is that the efficiencies and improved accountability are secured at no cost to the Commonwealth.

Under the original five-year contract, CGI received payment based on eVA registration fees from vendors and agency non-use fees. For the first four years of the contract, CGI absorbed most of the start-up and implementation costs. This enabled Virginia to focus on the strategy and stakeholders, and because CGI was being paid a percentage base on the volume of orders processed through the system, they had the proper motivation to make eVA operationally sound as soon as possible.

“Governor Kaine has placed a high priority on supporting small businesses and operating efficiently to generate savings during these austere budget times,” Richard Sliwoski, director of the Virginia Department of General Services, said. “eVA is a strong example of how the right technology can accomplish these objectives while bringing more accountability and transparency to government procurement.”