Purchasing departments are responsible for purchasing, procurement, purchase orders, RFPs, FRQs, bidding, contracts and contracting, proposals, evaluations, and all processes related to buying goods and services for government entities. Purchasing departments and procurement departments work closely with budget analysts to meet the needs of the government at the lowest cost to taxpayers. Most purchasing departments use electronic procurement software to speed up the process.
Some purchasing departments have subgroups with different responsibilities, so one team might work on negotiating prices and contracts, while another group takes care of assessing supplier qualifications. Many departments require contractors to submit bids, but in some communities, contracts are negotiated by other government agencies, especially those involved with construction and maintenance.
There are three different types of purchasing departments. They are at the federal, state and local levels. These agencies are responsible for procuring goods and services of all kinds. Federal purchasing departments usually have bigger procurement budgets than state and local departments.