DPS is comprised of over 100 professionals who are dedicated to our state leaders and Commonwealth public bodies to help identify, source, acquire and deliver the highest quality goods and services that effectively meet their needs. We also serve our fellow citizens and our valuable suppliers in a variety of ways to help government contract more efficiently. Our mission is to help every agency of state government purchase all of the materials, equipment, supplies, printing and nonprofessional services that are essential to their needs, and we do this in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA).
Our goal is to help develop and execute the business contracting strategies that contribute to Virginia being the best-managed state in the nation. We ensure every procurement and contract is aligned to the missions, goals and objectives of Virginia leadership and of our agencies to support the vision for Virginia's future: good government, responsible economic growth, an enviable quality of life, and a well-educated citizenry that is prepared to lead successful lives and be engaged in shaping the future of the Commonwealth.
To ensure Virginia's leaders, suppliers, and citizens achieve maximum visibility and access to every Commonwealth procurement opportunity, we operate the nation's leading enterprise-wide electronic procurement systems, eVA. Every state agency is required by Code to use eVA for purchasing all goods and services, beginning at the point of requisition for all procurements, including IT, transportation, and construction. To further ensure maximum transparency all state government agencies are required on their respective homepages to conspicuously post a link to the eVA reporting pages, thereby making these procurement transparency reports accessible to the public.
The services and commitment that all DPS procurement staff provides to Virginia helps our public bodies achieve their own success, while also helping to sustain and improve the overall economic climate and development of successful commercial business activities throughout the Commonwealth.
In addition to aligning state procurement activities to Virginia's strategic, long-term goals, our focus emphasizes leveraging the essential procurement principles and best practices of strategic sourcing, cooperative contracting, category management, supplier relationship management, and the use of nationally recognized best-of-breed procurement technology. We do this by developing the advanced skills and talents needed by our public procurement workforce through the Virginia Institute of Procurement and our professional VCA, VCO, and VCM procurement certifications. These credentials help ensure that procurements in Virginia are properly executed, that our contracts comply with the VPPA, and that our workforce meets the Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct governing our profession.
In addition to enterprise eProcurement and professional procurement training and certification, the Division operates the Virginia Distribution Center (VDC), which is a cooperative procurement activity providing a broad selection of high-quality products at the lowest prices by leveraging the collective buying power of the Commonwealth and utilizing efficient freight methods. The VDC maintains an onsite Quality Assurance Laboratory operation to test our products, which include staple foods, frozen foods, janitorial supplies, paper and plastic products, safety supplies, and other selected items that we provide all Virginia agencies, mental health and correctional institutions, universities and colleges, and all of our political subdivisions.
DPS also provides statewide cooperative contracts through the Virginia Strategic Sourcing Initiative (VSSI) to leverage the collective strategic buying power of all Virginia agencies, institutions of higher education, political subdivisions, including cooperative efforts with our sister states. The increased value, quality, savings, benefits, or services the Commonwealth is able to leverage through our cooperative contracts provides great benefits to our public bodies, better supply assurance to agencies through qualified suppliers, helps develop our small business community, and assists Virginia leadership to obtain the goods and services that are essential to their needs through overall reduced costs.
The staff of DPS works hard to meet all of the challenges of supply assurance to all of our state and local government customers and suppliers to help them succeed, while ensuring the principles of public procurement and model policies to deliver fairness, transparency, and administrative efficiency.