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PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Seventh Annual Report of the Purchasing Commission January 1st, 1949, to… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1950

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Seventh Annual Report of the
Purchasing Commission
January 1st, 1949, to December 31st, 1949
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by Don McDuiurm, Pi-inter to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1950.  Victoria, B.C., January 10th, 1950.
To His Honour C. A. Banks,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour :
Herewith I beg respectfully to submit the Annual Report of the Purchasing Commission of the Department of Finance for the period January 1st, 1949, to December
31st, 1949.
H. ANSCOMB,
Minister of Finance.
The Honourable Herbert Anscomb,
Minister of Finance, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—We have the honour to submit the Seventh Annual Report of the Purchasing
Commission, covering the period January 1st, 1949, to December 31st, 1949.
C. B. PETERSON,
Chairman.
E. W. GRIFFITH,
Member.
J. M. STEWART,
Member.  Seventh Annual Report of the Purchasing Commission.
For the Period January 1st, 1949, to December 31st, 1949.
Gone are the days when a purchasing agent could hide his shortcomings behind
the curtain of a " seller's market." Competition has suddenly assumed almost hectic
proportions, and many suppliers who, in the past, few years, appeared to regard our
insistent and sometimes pathetic appeals for materials as a source of acute embarrassment are now becoming most solicitous for our welfare. In fact a positively injured
attitude is assumed by some if their benevolent intentions are not now instantly
recognized. This Commission may be pardoned (or even commended) for having one
of the instincts of an elephant, and remembering those whose unfailing courtesy and
co-operation kept our many services in operation during all that long and difficult
period of shortages. To them we now wish to take this opportunity of conveying our
compliments.
As to current prices, let us be generous and just say that over-all costs have not
decreased. Increased freight rates and adverse exchange conditions have tended to
offset the benefits that might otherwise have been apparent. The coming year should
show a general levelling-off in prices where basic commodities are concerned.
British goods have shown a marked reduction during the last three months, particularly automobiles and crockery; and textiles are expected to follow this trend after
existing stocks in this country have been depleted. Many British lines of heavy equipment might also be attractive if better servicing facilities were available.
A marked improvement has been apparent in the availability of steel products,
including nails; and road machinery such as tractors, graders, and snow-removal equipment is obtainable on comparatively short notice. Antifreeze, previously in very short
supply, is now plentiful.    Supplies of coal and fuel-oil are also adequate.
The automotive industry has almost reached peak production, trucks of all sizes
are available for immediate delivery, and, with few exceptions, the same may be said
of passenger-cars. Ample supplies of parts and accessories are again in the hands of
dealers. The tire business is highly competitive, stocks are complete, and prices are
below pre-war levels. '
For the first time in years lumber is readily available, and prices have dropped
approximately 13 per cent, below last year's quotations.
Commencing on April 1st, 1949, a new system was inaugurated for purchasing the
supplies of tea and coffee required by our several institutions. Instead of the former
practice of attempting to set grades and calling for prices based on those grades, it
was decided that we would set the price we were prepared to pay and ask the suppliers
to compete on the basis of the quality of the tea and coffee they were willing to supply
at those prices. The samples received from the various suppliers are submitted, for
testing, to an independent and recognized authority on tea and coffee, and the business,
for a period of six months, is awarded on the basis of the report received from this
tester. As a result of this change in procedure, the institutions are receiving a much
superior product.
During the calendar year 1949 the number of motor-vehicles purchased totalled
422, consisting; of 228 trucks, 193 passenger-cars, and 1 motor-cycle. During the same
period 237 vehicles were disposed of, from which the sum of $133,522.26 was realized.
The availability of new cars and the introduction of a large number of English vehicles Y 6
BRITISH  COLUMBIA.
at the devalued sterling prices has tended to ease the demand for used cars, and consequently lower prices now prevail.
Miscellaneous items of surplus stock and equipment sold by auction or advertised
tender amounted to $53,088.30.
Supervision has been maintained over the stocks carried in Police stores, Langford
Warehouse, and at the several Provincial institutions, and the inventories of supplies
have been periodically verified.
STATISTICAL RECORDS.
Statistical records were maintained under the following headings, which, for information, are recited herewith:—■
A. Competitive.—On   contract,   quotation    (written   or   verbal),   or   prices
awarded on, and governed by, previous quotation.
B. Restrictive.—Specified commodities sold exclusively by a particular manu
facturer, wholesaler, jobber, or agent.
C. Controlled.—Includes set prices where no advantage accrues in calling for
competitive tenders on commodities sold at controlled prices.
D. Non-competitive.—Requisitions issued without stated prices and controlled
by checking or test-checking prices when invoices are submitted.
E. Retail.—Includes semi-retail, or where prices are greater than might be
secured from manufacturer or wholesaler  (local purchases).
F. Emergency.— (1)   Retail.     (2)   Wholesale.
Comparative figures for the fiscal years 1946-47, 1947-48, and 1948-49 are set
forth hereunder:—
1946-47.
1947-48.
1948-49.
51,224,889.62
1,913,511.26
697,980.71
1,345,051.80
99,G87.91
555,649.05
$1,797,962.96
3,171,273.11
1,017,470.76
2,046,112.62
151,388.03
301,377.17
472,359.06
98,693.42
$2,390,495.25
4 539 397.45
C.  Controlled	
1,976,647.61
3,399,999.87
153,047.50
E. Retail	
F. Emergency—
(1)   Retail	
309,999.39
(2)   Wholesale	
620,584.50
23,374.78
227,049.05
Totals
$6,063,819.40
$9,056,637.13
$13,413,546.35
orders issued	
Number of purchase
27,163
30,390
33,315
The increase in the total amount of purchases during the fiscal year 1948-49 was,
in part, due to heavy purchases of road machinery; also the purchase of supplies for
the Crease Clinic, Essondale; new building, Colony Farm; new Nurses' Home, New
Westminster;   and the Dominion Health Grant projects.
OFFICE FURNITURE AND EQUIPMENT.
Increased requirements under this head are, of necessity, in direct relation to the
expansion in Government services. The two new temporary buildings on Superior
Street and the offices connected with the new Crease Clinic at Essondale have had to
be completely furnished. There have also been a number of smaller offices opened
throughout the Province to accommodate additional personnel in the several departments. Due to past shortages, replacement of various types of obsolete and worn-out
office equipment has not been possible; but, as supplies have now become available,
these  replacements  are  being made  as  rapidly  as  our  appropriations  will  permit. REPORT OF THE PURCHASING COMMISSION. Y 7
Previously unavailable but urgently required filing equipment, particularly in Land
Registry and Government Agents' offices, has now been provided.
As fast as the facilities of our British Columbia manufacturers will permit, the
policy of having our office furniture made locally is being expanded, and with splendid
results. The quality of the product Supplied is of a high standard and fully complies
with our requirements.
The inventory of office furniture is still incomplete, owing to pressure of work on
the tabulating machines and staff in the offices of the Bureau of Statistics (Health
Insurance requirements taking precedence over ours). However, it is far enough
advanced to give an approximate valuation of $1,500,000.
The typewriter-maintenance staff continues to render an efficient and economical
service. Provision is being made to employ an additional mechanic next year in order
that the inspection of our 500 adding-machines may be undertaken, in addition to the
2,650 typewriters now under inspection.
The facilities of our cabinetmaker's shop in Vancouver, referred to in previous
reports, continue to be utilized to the fullest extent. Much valuable work of a similar
nature is also performed for us in Victoria by the carpenters on the maintenance staff
of the Department of Public Works.
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by Don MoDiA_tKn>, Printer to the King's Must Excellent Majesty.
1050.
345-150-5950 

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