County uses portal for procurement
- By Brian Robinson
- Aug 05, 2002
Oakland County, Mich., has chosen PeopleSoft Inc.'s "source-to-settle" solution
for its first stab at a fully online procurement system, an approach that
also will provide it with a one-stop portal to deliver other government
The county (www.co.oakland.mi.us) has
had a presence on the Internet for some years for internal communications
and external contact with constituents, said Ed Poisson, Oakland's deputy
director of management and budget. It also had been involved in developing
an extensive geographic information system (GIS), and at least parts of
that had to be made available to the public.
"We looked for the most cost-efficient ways of doing that, to both increase
access and to improve efficiencies," Poisson said. "Procurement is a big
part of that. We've done e-mailing before [for bid notifications], but we
wanted a true e-market."
Oakland officials also wanted a way to enable municipalities to better
exploit the county's procurement contracts. They can do that now, but the
hassle of the involved paperwork makes it worthwhile only for the largest
contracts, Poisson explained, and going online would enable municipalities
to use the smaller contracts also.
After an open bidding process, the advantages of going with PeopleSoft
became obvious, according to Poisson. The county had been using PeopleSoft
solutions for years to run its human resources department, and the advantage
of a suite solution that would also include procurement and financial processes
was "sizable" from a cost perspective, he said.
Another advantage is that the PeopleSoft system provides a Web portal
for the procurement system that can also be used as a Web-based "single
access point" for delivering other government information, and as the public
front-end of the GIS.
Implementation of the portal and a single sign-on system will begin
in January 2003, Poisson said, with a goal to bring the procurement process
and other government systems online within two years.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be
reached at [email protected]
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.