Purchasing Agent

Alexandria, VA
$101,757.24 - $184,410.85 Annually
Oct 11, 2021
Oct 14, 2021
Full Time
Purchasing Agent

The City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter of the City’s square miles have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead.

An Overview
Alexandria is experiencing significant redevelopment in key areas throughout the City. As the urban environment evolves, the service delivery model of the City of Alexandria will necessarily change. This means the City will be engaged in many new and exciting procurement activities for both major capital projects as well as operational services. The next few years will bring complex challenges and opportunities for innovation in procurement. The purchasing agent will play a key role in helping City agencies answer these new challenges, and will guide the City through major capital projects. The City seeks a talented business manager that displays excellent judgment in high-pressure, complex situations. The purchasing agent should have a history of creative and innovative problem solving as well as the ability to lead a team of professional procurement specialists.

The purchasing agent supervises and administers the operation of the Purchasing Division of the Department of Finance. The employee in this class is responsible for the legal and proper execution of central purchasing activities, including the procurement of supplies, materials, equipment, and services of desired grade and quality at prices most favorable to the City and their issuance as in accordance with the City Code Sec. 3-3-13. Work is performed under the general supervision of the finance director, but the employee has considerable latitude for independent judgment, innovation, and initiative in carrying out the work of the division.

What You Should Bring
The ideal candidate will bring sound management and decision-making experience to a complex division. The City seeks a candidate that can infuse innovation into all business processes, and has experience dealing with multifaceted purchasing projects. It is also important that the purchasing agent be well versed in buying, inspection, as well as the laws, ordinances and other requirements governing the purchase of commodities and services for the City, or have the ability to readily acquire such knowledge. The candidate should understand sources of supply, markets and price trends, and have a working knowledge of the various grades and qualities of a variety of materials, supplies, equipment and services. He or she should have a good knowledge of accounting practices as applied to procurement procedures, and be comfortable making difficult decisions and award contracts and review any appeals impartially and objectively. The candidate should be able to effectively manage an office and have the ability to plan, organize, review and evaluate the work of a staff performing varied procurement functions, as well as establish and maintain effective working relationships with other City officials, employees, vendors and the general public. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing, is highly important. Lastly, the ability to synthesize purchasing data and use it to prioritize projects and refine business processes is essential to the continued improvement of the Purchasing Division and its role in executing the City’s strategic plan. The incumbent is also expected to report out on performance metrics for the procurement function, which ultimately help inform resource priorities for the City.

The Opportunity - Examples of Work
  • Directs work of professional staff and ensures that Division/program objectives and outcomes are achieved in compliance with local, state and federal requirements;
  • Develops, executes, and revises the Division’s strategic plan and performance plan in conjunction with the Finance Director;
  • Reviews and supervises bid proposals and awards contracts to vendors for purchases; determines contract awards, administers contracts, and disposes of surplus goods and equipment;
  • Conducts reviews, responds to, and resolves/issues decisions on protests and appeals from vendors;
  • Prepares docket items and makes presentations before City Council; Prepares reports of procurement activities;
  • Resolves problems with vendors which contract specialists are unable to resolve, and takes action when vendors default on contracts;
  • Recommends and approves appropriate procurement methods, and discusses formal bid awards with department heads;
  • Analyzes purchasing and supply policies and procedures, controls their implementation and application, and incorporates new techniques, policies, and procedures;
  • Plans, coordinates and controls the purchasing activities of the City, establishes priorities, and evaluates functions; Prepares budget requests for the Division's operations and administers the Division budget;
  • Performs other duties, as assigned.

About The Department
The City of Alexandria's Finance Department is a fast-paced, diverse, and customer service focused operation that serves both members of the public and the other departments of the City itself. The Finance Department has seven divisions and in fiscal year 2021 is operating with a total budget of $13.2 million and 107.25 FTE positions. The main responsibilities of the Finance divisions are as follows:
  • The Revenue Division assesses personal property (car tax), meal sales, transient lodging and other taxes, and also issues business and professional licenses;
  • The Treasury Division bills, collects, invests, and manages all City monies;
  • The Real Estate Division appraises each parcel of real estate in the City, the value of which is used to bill for the real estate tax;
  • The Purchasing Division is responsible for centralized City procurement;
  • The Accounting Division maintains records on the financial operations of the City and prepares the City's monthly and annual financial reports;
  • The Pension Division manages pension plans for City employees; and
  • The Administration Division provides executive-level strategy and direction and also administers the department's budget, human resources, and performance management. This division also provides risk management services for the City and manages the City's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Munis.

Minimum and Additional Requirements
At least five years of government purchasing and contract management experience including some supervisory experience in local, State or Federal government; or at least three years of experience at a level equivalent to Contract Specialist III; and a Bachelor's degree with some college-level courses in procurement, marketing, business law, or business administration, and retailing; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Preferred Qualifications
Master’s degree or Juris Doctor degree. Experience working in local, state or Federal Government environment.

To Apply
For consideration, please submit a cover letter detailing your qualifications, and your resume to Alexandria_Purchasing@polihire.com . Resumes will be screened in relation to the criteria outlined in this announcement. Candidates with relevant qualifications will be given preliminary interviews by POLIHIRE. Those candidates deemed qualified will be referred to the City of Alexandria for further consideration. Please include only your name (Last, First) in the subject line when submitting these materials.

This position requires satisfactory pre-employment background checks, including but not limited, to drug tests and criminal background checks.

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