A purchasing department is responsible for buying supplies and services needed by governments and organizations to conduct their operations. Sometimes also called procurement offices, their responsibilities include the bidding process for purchase contracts. Once contracts have been awarded, the purchasing department is usually also responsible for overseeing the fulfillment of those contracts through the completion of the project.
Before buying anything, these departments analyze the cost-effectiveness of suppliers' bids by using software and other tools, to ensure the best value for a given purchase. A purchasing department also screens prospective vendors to ensure they can meet their obligations if awarded a purchase contract.