2 Postal Service Supplying Practices Process Step 2: Evaluate Sources

2-1 Develop Purchase Plan

2-1.1 General

A purchase plan provides the overall strategy to accomplish and manage a purchase and is usually prepared under the general direction of the Commodity Sourcing Strategy Plan (CSSP), which is discussed in
7-2, Develop Commodity Strategy. The complexity of the purchase plan depends on the nature of the purchase and its effect on the Postal Service’s business and competitive objectives. A purchase plan should set forth the Postal Service’s objectives and tactics to obtain the best value in a specific purchase and should help the purchase/SCM team focus on the aspects of best value sought by the Postal Service.

Written purchase plans are required for all competitive and noncompetitive purchases valued at $1 million or more, including any modification that significantly changes the scope or nature of the goods or services from that which was fairly and reasonably contemplated by the original contract. See Section 5-8.9, Change Orders, that a modification for which the contracting officer determines the action not be within the scope of the contract should be treated as a new purchase or as a noncompetitive purchase, and is subject to the requirements of Section 2-10, Determine Extent of Competition, and Section 2-41, Obtain Selected Reviews and Approvals. Based on the particular circumstances of a purchase (contract award or modification action), waiver of the requirement for a written purchase plan may be approved by the VP SM. However, a modification for a one-time period of performance extension of no greater than 5 months which exceeds $1 million does not require a purchase plan or a waiver.

For lesser-dollar values, purchase/SCM teams should consider the complexity of the purchase, and decide whether a written plan is necessary. Regardless of the dollar amount of the purchase, plans should always contain a concise, clear statement of the facts, the best value the Postal Service is seeking, the rationale supporting the proposed purchase, and the business processes that will be employed so that the Postal Service obtains best value. Plans should also allow some project flexibility and provide stakeholders and review and approval authorities enough information to make informed decisions.