Administrative Services Task Force Meets, Focuses on Procurement

The Administrative Services Task Force Group of LSU’s Transition Advisory Team met on Wednesday, April 24, at the LSU AgCenter, to discuss various ways that the university system can improve administrative efficiency.

The Administrative Services Task Force is focusing on improving efficiency, identifying barriers and adopting service structures through analysis of internal university processes, external regulatory impediments, insurance and risk management, employee benefits and LA GRAD Act 2.0.

Marie Frank, executive director of Procurement Services and Property Management at LSU, gave an extensive presentation to the task force on the ways in which the state’s procurement code has presented challenges to efficiency in the past. Procurement services and the state’s procurement code was one of the areas targeted by LA GRAD Act 2.0 as one that LSU could improve upon if the act’s performance objectives were met.

“We knew that it was important to find a way to save money in this area,” said Frank.

She outlined areas that could be considered “low-hanging fruit” and easily addressed, such as office supplies.

“If we could use one vendor for all of our supplies needs,” Frank said, “then there are certain bulk discounts that would be available for those products.”
Frank also explained that under LA GRAD Act 2.0 the state has allowed LSU to participate in a pilot procurement code program for three years, after which the university would have to report and prove that the code changes did in fact help save money and improve efficiency.

“A university operates differently from other state agencies in this regard,” Frank explained. “So why should it have to follow all of the same rules that apply to those other agencies?”

“We have a great opportunity to raise all of these issues in the public eye and really show how silly all of this is,” said Lee Griffin, co-chair of the Finance and Revenue Sub-Committee and member of the Transition Advisory Committee. “I think these things could get a lot of traction with people.”

For the task force’s next meeting, members were also charged with developing an administrative organizational chart for all LSU System campuses, in order to detail how the various human resource, property management and other administrative functions are structured on the various campuses.
“We’re going to have a new president coming in,” SSA Consultants’ Christel Slaughter said, referring to incoming LSU President F. King Alexander.

“And we need to be able to show these things to him.”

Agendas for this and all LSU2015 sub-committee and task force group meetings can be found at http://www.lsu.edu/LSU2015/subcommittees_meeting_schedule.shtml.

More information on LSU’s re-organization process can be found at www.lsu.edu/LSU2015.  Also, visit LSU’s reorganization Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LSU2015transition.