News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

Communication key in Purchasing

Photo of Purchasing Staff

The Purchasing staff (front row, l-r) Cathy Veluta, Lorraine DuBois, Yolanda Howell, (back row) Donna Casiere, Donna Knotts and David Farbaniec (director) is ready to work with the campus.

The Purchasing Department does the hard work of navigating the maze of New York State rules and regulations to procure the goods and services that keep the campus running.

David Farbaniec, director of procurement, encourages open communication between the department, campus employees, vendors and the public.

“It is in this office that the purchase becomes real,” said Farbaniec. “The state has not committed money until the order has gone through us.”

Farbaniec was assistant director of procurement before he replaced Walter Wontz as director in January.

Wontz retired in December after working at the college for 32 years, 27 of which were spent as director of procurement.

"Walter was detail-oriented and extremely knowledgeable, said Michele Halstead, assistant vice president for administration. "He could take the facts and figures and make it understandable for the campus."

Wontz is working on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, until a replacement for Yolanda Howell, who has been promoted to assistant director, is found.

Donna Casiere, Lorraine DuBois, Donna Knotts and Cathy Veluta work on more than 12,000 purchase orders that come through the office in a year. Dubois is also the office manager and works on affiliation contracts.

Howell and Farbaniec handle contract requests for multi-year contracts for such services as Internet connection, banking features and construction.

The process involves drafting bidding and contract documents based on departmental needs.

Purchasing also works with state agencies such as the Department of Labor to make sure rules and regulations are abided by.

The department places public notices for all projects to give all eligible businesses a fair shot in the bidding process. The staff also develops a bidding schedule, holds a public bid opening and reviews contracts in detail.

If a project costs under $150,000, the process is complete and a contract is fully executed.

However, if a project costs more than $150,000, then the second part of the process begins. The contract is sent to the office of the state attorney general and the state comptroller's office for review where the work of the Purchasing Department is put under the microscope before it is given state approval.

"We are accountable to not only the organization, but to the general public as well," said Farbaniec.

March 12 , 2007
Volume 5, Issue 5

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