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Thirty-third Annual Report of the PURCHASING COMMISSION JANUARY 1 TO DECEMBER 31 1975 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1976

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 PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Thirty-third Annual Report of the
PURCHASING COMMISSION
JANUARY 1 TO DECEMBER 31
1975
Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
1976
  The Honourable Evan Wolfe,
Minister of Finance,
Province of British Columbia,
Victoria, B.C.
Sir: We have the honour to submit the Thirty-third Annual Report of the
Purchasing Commission, covering the period January 1, 1975, to December 31,
1975.
T. L. VARDY
Chairman
L. J. WALLACE
Member
G. L. J. GILES
Member
  Thirty-third Annual Report of the
Purchasing Commission
January 1 to December 31, 1975
GENERAL
As stated in previous Annual Reports, the total purchases under the Act
include purchases made by the divisions of those departments with authority to
purchase delegated under section 10 of the Act. Records for these divisions are
therefore included in the table below. The division appearing in previous records
as the Curriculum Resources Branch is now changed in name to Publications
Services.
Number of Purchase Orders
Total Value of Purchase Orders
1974
1975
1974
1975
2,150
937
474
4,460
58,622
1,307
883
293
4,606
51,055
$
8,462,962
32,530
186,532
5,589,813
113,526,670
$
7,620,459
Provincial Secretary—
17,972
(6) Library Development Commission
(c) Queen's Printer  ..	
Finance—Purchasing   Commission   for   all   departments	
258,802
5,253,022
112,876,920
66,643
58,144
127,798,507
126,027,175
The year 1975 has been one of challenge, with the inflationary trend again
the dominant factor. The conditions indicated in the Thirty-second Annual Report
still prevail, namely, the inability or unwillingness of suppliers to offer or maintain
firm prices, lengthy delivery schedules, and to varying degree, shortages of
materials.
Substantial price increases in most areas of the market place have been
evident, so much so that the situation has been of prime concern to all Governments in the western world. Stringent measures have been taken, even to the
extent of imposed legislation to try to halt, or preferably roll back, the continued
escalatory trend of expenditure of public funds. The Province of British Columbia
has been no exception in this regard, and its supporting decisions have been contributory to a decrease in total expenditure by the Purchasing Commission for the
year under review when compared with that of 1974.
The over-all decrease in expenditure is $1,771,335, or approximately 1.4 per
cent. Because of inflation, the number of purchase orders issued is a better indicator, and this has been decreased by 8,499 or 12.8 per cent.
The total value of purchases for the year is $126,027,125, and includes emergency purchases of which there is a decrease of 8,383 from the previous year,
giving a total of 15,632.
In May 1975 the Purchasing Commission acquired new quarters at 914 Yates
Street, Victoria.  The move from Superior Street has been greatly appreciated by
 K 6
BRITISH COLUMBIA
most, and the merging of the work force under the same roof has proved effective.
Proper work flows have been planned, co-ordination has improved, and the benefits
so obtained have already been apparent in the smoother and more efficient operation of the Commission as a whole.
STAFF
The staff now totals 95 employees and includes the nucleus of a new section
to re-establish control of inventories. A start has begun with office furniture, and
early reports indicate progress made and good co-operation from departments in
this large task.
The small increase in staff, together with a number of internal procedural
changes, has resulted in a reduction in the amount of temporary help. The service
to departments, not always hitherto possible, has improved and the willingness of
the clerical staff to adapt to changes has brought about the increased efficiency
mentioned earlier. It is to be commended for its contribution in this regard,
especially so during the numerous times of stress experienced, such as mail strikes
and other adverse labour and market conditions. This contribution is well recognized and certainly appreciated.
BUSINESS MACHINES SERVICES DIVISION
Despite a reduction in new purchases of business machines during the latter
half of 1975, the machine inventory has increased a further 1.13 per cent within
the Provincial Service. Although the division no longer maintains services at the
B.C. Institute of Technology and other community colleges, additional demands for
maintenance of equipment have been made because of the acquisition by the
Department of Attorney General of Provincial Courts in cities and municipalities
throughout British Columbia. To date, several hundred machines appear to be
involved requiring extra time and attention to bring the equipment up to Provincial
standards.   Until this is completed, a true inventory will not be available.
The Department of Health and Hospital Insurance requested the division to
absorb the maintenance of the equipment in the B.C. Medical Plan as its contractual services expire.  This is gradually being accomplished.
It is recommended the employment of apprentices be encouraged and that the
present standard of a minimum of one apprentice per each five journeymen-
technicians on staff be maintained. Such programming is necessary to meet the
demands of personnel leaving or retiring, as it has repeatedly been shown it is
virtually impossible to obtain suitably trained staff through the conventional market
place without considerable retraining.
Table 1—Machines as at December 31, 1974
Type of Machine
Number in
Departmental
Offices
Number in
Vocational
Schools
Number in
BCIT
Total
Number
Typewriters   	
Adding and calculating machines	
Dictation/transcription equipment and tape recorders
Miscellaneous equipment—posting, bookkeeping, cash
registers, duplicators, etc 	
Total as at December 31, 1974	
Percentage increase in 12 months —
7,754
4,487
5,409
1,667
19,317
25.24
896
401
387
358
2,042
2.3
206
620
104
136
1,066
24.24
8,856
5,508
5,900
2,161
22,425
22.87
 REPORT OF PURCHASING COMMISSION
K 7
Table 2—Machines as at December 31, 1975
Type of Machine
Number in
Departmental
Offices
Number in
Vocational
Schools
Number in
bcit
Total
Number
8,600
5,587
5,933
1,790
281
180
195
113
8,881
5,767
Dictation/transcription equipment and tape recorders
6,128
1,903
Total as at December 31,1975	
21,910
13.42
769
62.31
22,679
1.13
i Decrease.
THE VANCOUVER OFFICE
F. H. Leonard, Chief Purchasing Agent in Vancouver, reports a successful
year for the Vancouver Office. It has been a year of unusually high incidence of
medical problems amongst the staff; the morale factor, however, remained high and
the staff turnover was nil.
Two new positions were established, including one of purchasing agent, bringing the staff to a total of 14. In the Business Machines Vancouver Section, the
staff totals 10.
A revised organizational procedure, together with more closely defined delegation of responsibilities, has been introduced, and this has contributed to a more
efficient operation with the help of an enthusiastic staff.
SURPLUS DISPOSAL SECTION
The proceeds realized from the sale of Government surpluses by public offer
or auction has shown a substantial increase of $215,538 for a total of $560,903.
The funds are returned to Consolidated Revenue.
Department of Highways— $
(a) Equipment  375,372
(b) Buildings      29,553
Other departments  155,978
Total
560,903
In addition, new storage premises for surplus furniture and similar equipment
has been acquired. With this facility the transfer of surplus equipment between
departments has been greatly improved and obvious savings have been apparent in
this area.
LANGFORD WAREHOUSE
There has been no change in the function of the warehouse and the number
of its employees. The demands placed upon it by the departments have been
slightly reduced and the value of goods processed is $925,815; the amount the
previous year was $1,038,048.
CONCLUSION
The Commission gratefully acknowledges the specialized purchasing done
under delegated authority by the Queen's Printer, the Director of Publication
Services, the Legislative Librarian and the Archivist, and the Superintendent of the
Library Development Commission.
The co-operation extended by the departments in adjusting to the several
procedural changes inaugurated during the year is also appreciated.
 Printed by K. M. MacDonald, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British fcolumbia.
1976

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