MIT Reports to the President 1997-98


The departmental mission of assisting the MIT community in the procurement of goods and services and providing advice and counsel toward ensuring favorable prices, protective terms and conditions, compliance with MIT policies and procedures and Federal contract and grant regulations, and compliance with the Institute's Government-approved procurement process continued again this year.


Last year MIT began a pilot program to introduce a Visa Procurement Card (VIP Card) for use by Institute personnel to make small dollar purchases. Based on the success of the pilot program, the VIP Card was introduced to the community this year. At year end, over 350 VIP Cards had been issued to approximately 65 departments and over 2,000 transactions totaling more than $250,000 have been processed. The card should dramatically reduce the number of requests for payment, blanket orders, and petty cash transactions currently processed.

The Subcontracts and other Purchasing personnel assumed a leadership role during the Contractor Purchasing System Review conducted by the Office of Naval Research and DCAA late this spring. The last review was conducted three years ago. Since that time, there has been great turnover in management personnel within the department and there have been significant changes made to the system such as the SAP implementation and the introduction of the Electronic Catalog and the MIT Credit Card programs. Based on this review, approval by the Office of Naval Research is expected shortly.

During the year, the Subcontracts Office maintained and updated a total process system that measures various administrative functions within the department and interfaces with MIT's Management Reporting and Financial Operations project to assist in the development of the necessary reporting and tracking systems required for the Subcontracts/Purchasing operations.

The General Purchasing Office joined with the Management Reporting training team to develop a requisition training program to assist other departments as they convert to SAP, developed new change order and blanket order procedure, and, in conjunction with the Physical Plant, assisted in the redesign of the process for procuring, stocking, and distributing MRO materials.


The department needs to continue to move forward with the various projects that are already underway and will continue to work closely with the Management Reporting team to assist during the rollout of SAP.

The name of the department will be changed from Purchasing to Procurement and the reporting structure will also be changed. The department's three different spaces will be consolidated into just one large area in E19.

More information about the Purchasing Department can be found on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

Diane J. Shea

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98