Understanding User Perceptions of Eva [Commonwealth of Virginia E-Procurement System]
118 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015
Date Written: May 5, 2014
This report explores the reasons for Virginia local governments’ currently low usage levels of eVA for procuring goods and services and what changes DPS might make to facilitate the localities’ increased use. This report explores the reasons why localities within the state of Virginia do or do not use the state’s electronic procurement system (eVA) in its two main forms eVA-Lite and eVA-Full. A group of four Master of Public Administration students at Virginia Commonwealth University have been tasked with researching the issue and providing recommendations to improve eVA and to make it more of an asset to the Commonwealth and its localities.
eVA is owned and managed by the Virginia Department of General Services’ (DGS), Division of Purchases and Supply (DPS) and is the central procurement system for all non construction and non-IT procurement needs for all state agencies and institutions. Research question: What are the reasons for local governments’ low use of eVA for procuring goods and services and what changes might DPS make to increase usage? Of the approximately $6 billion in expenditures procured by the state, localities currently make only 1.4 percent of those expenditures through the eVA procurement system. DPS is interested in understanding the reasons why localities do not use eVA for all essential goods and services. From DPS's perspective, using eVA will help increase local government’s access to essential goods and services through an affordable and efficient system.
Methods of research and analysis include interviews with members of DPS; a survey sent to all localities that use eVA-Lite and eVA-Full, and observations of eVA outreach presentations to localities. The main findings revolve around the format of the eVA system and user’s understanding of the system. Survey findings suggest that many local governments perceive that eVA is not user-friendly and is time consuming. Additionally, responses from many local government procurers suggest the need for more education and training to better understand all aspects of the eVA system.
Finally, the recommendations section offers considerations for DPS to improve the existing eVA system, according to the responses and suggestions of the survey participants. The recommendations fall under the areas of system changes, outreach and marketing strategies, and providing incentives for increasing local governments’ use of eVA.
Keywords: centralized, procurement, local, government, purchasing
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