CLACKAMAS COUNTY

CLASSIFICATION NO. 071
Revised: 08/78, 07/96
FLSA: Non-Exempt
EEO: 5

BUYER

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS

Under general supervision, to purchase materials, supplies and equipment for the County stores and operating departments; to consult with staff of operating departments to analyze and develop specifications for goods and for standardizing items; to coordinate procedures for contract from initiation to implementation; and to do other work as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

The Purchasing Division within the Finance Department is responsible for the centralized procurement of County supplies, equipment, services, new construction, public improvements and commodities. This division also oversees the delivery of mail, goods and services to County departments.

The Buyer assists in the procurement of materials, supplies, equipment and services needed for departmental operations throughout the County. Buyers exercise independent judgment and discretion in order to evaluate market conditions, sources of supply, quality and cost in order to purchase items at the lowest cost consistent with quality standards. Buyer is a journey-level classification which develops purchasing specifications and coordinates the procurement for a broad variety of equipment, furniture, vehicles and services.

The Buyer differs from the Inventory/Stores Specialist which oversees the central stores of office related supplies and equipment. It also differs from the Purchasing Manager which is responsible for planning, coordinating, evaluating and administering all services provided by the division, including purchasing, inventory management, courier services and the disposal of surplus property.

TYPICAL TASKS

Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Assists in the preparation of and develops specifications for purchases, describing the characteristics of the items desired; investigates sources of supply; contacts vendors and invites bid quotations; interviews vendors and analyzes bids for conformance to specifications and suitability for required use.
  2. Prepares contract documents for bid invitations and requests for proposal in compliance with local contract review board rules, County policies and procedures and state statutes; prepares and submits necessary contract documents to the Board of County Commissioners for action; assists user agencies and departments with problem resolution for contract disputes; coordinates, develops and administers annual supply agreements; authorize, issue and process field and on-line purchase orders.
  3. Orders supplies, materials and equipment; maintains inventories of materials, equipment and supplies in central stores; operates computer terminal for inventory and purchasing purposes.
  4. Investigates and evaluates complaints from departments on items received; takes corrective action to obtain compliance of vendor with the conditions of the purchase order; remains current with market conditions, product developments and relative merits of individual vendors.
  5. Maintains records, prepares reports and correspondence; provides support to accounts payable staff on vendor payments; reconciles invoices to purchase orders for large multiple account, multiple item orders.
  6. May act as leadworker to purchasing department staff in the absence of the Purchasing Manager; assist in the development and revision of purchasing policies and procedures.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

Thorough knowledge of: Basic principles and practices of governmental purchasing; bid and contract preparation; characteristics and types of materials, supplies and equipment used by public agencies; sources of supply and price trends of a wide variety of commodities; contract laws governing purchasing procedures; warehousing methods and procedures including inventory record keeping and control; office procedures; computer equipment and related software.

Skill to: Organize and prioritize work load and assignments; learn and apply the methods of purchasing by specification and competitive bidding; gather and analyze data; interpret and apply laws, rules and regulations affecting County purchasing; establish and maintain effective working relationships with County employees, the public and vendors; perform multiple tasks simultaneously; resolve problems; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; prepare reports; deftly and accurately operate computers; make arithmetic calculations quickly and accurately.

WORKING CONDITIONS

Duties involve moderate lifting activities.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

Some positions must successfully pass a criminal history check which may include national or state fingerprint records check.

Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver's license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.

MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS

Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.