UVa has launched a new purchasing system, Aaron Kessler reports in the Daily Progress, but it’s not going over very well. David Sewell writes in — speaking only for himself and not the university — explaining the difficulty:
It’s not just the double-whammy fee that’s a problem. The whole system, while facilitating simple orders like office supplies, makes it much harder for departments to order things like one or two copies of software produced by a small Eastern European company that’s not prepared to deal with the bureaucracy for registering as a UVa vendor. (Can you imagine if you were a tiny software shop and had to spend 15 minutes of your time figuring out Web registration forms from every public institution that wanted to place a $25 order? You’d be out of business fast.)
The folks I know in purchasing at UVa are trying to figure out how to circumvent the system entirely — it’s just too much trouble. And, as always, I’m not speaking for the university, either, even though I work for ’em, too, in a roundabout way.