Procurement officers work in many types of public and private organizations, where they process purchasing transactions for services, equipment, stationery, and other goods. They perform duties such as identifying the procurement needs of an organization, reviewing purchase requisitions, awarding supplier tenders, and supervising the performance of contractors. While many procurement officers hold degrees in business and accounting, others – especially those working in the manufacturing industry – have engineering credentials.
Ensure Consistency in Procurement
It is the duty of the procurement officer to ensure all purchases are consistent with the needs of an organization. For example, when a hospital pharmacist submits a purchase request for 100 cartons of a respiratory drug, the procurement officer must ensure the facility indeed requires this amount before authorizing the purchase. He can do this by examining previous purchase requests to establish the average amount of respiratory drugs the hospital uses within a given time frame.
Negotiate and Award Contracts
When an organization wants to buy goods through suppliers, the procurement officer invites suppliers to submit their bids along with price proposals. She might collaborate with other purchasing specialists in the procurement department to examine the bids and select the most competitive supplier. The procurement officer proceeds to negotiate better prices with the supplier so that the company can enter into a contract that meets its financial goals. If the supplier violates the terms of the supply agreement – perhaps he regularly makes late deliveries – the officer may initiate a contract termination process.
Ensure Legal Compliance
Another duty of procurement officers is to ensure all purchasing activities follow institutional policies and government regulations. For example, a procurement officer working for a federal agency compliance with the Federal Procurement Policy Act. When an agency invites suppliers to bid for a contract, for instance, it is illegal for the procurement officer to disclose the agency’s contractor selection criteria to unauthorized people. To continue meeting the requirements of such laws, procurement officers must monitor and review changing and new legislation.
Supervise Procurement Staff
Procurement officers lead a staff that typically includes purchasing clerks, buyers and purchasing analysts. In this capacity, the officers allocate tasks to these workers and supervise their performance. When purchasing agents are out in the field evaluating the quality of products in a certain market, the procurement officer coordinates their activities and instructs them on the products to purchase. Procurement officers must also ensure positive working relationships among staff members.