Author: Elena Moreland

Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: George Schutter

This week we caught up with GEORGE SCHUTTER, Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for the District of Columbia to learn more about himself and his current role in the District. George leads the District’s Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP), where he oversees over $5.6 billion worth of acquisitions for over 78 agencies.
Supported by a staff of 228, George and his staff manage the contracts and relationships between the District and industry to acquire the supplies, services, and construction requirements of their client agencies.  His previous leadership roles included Chief Financial Officer of the Peace Corps; Chief Financial Officer for TechnoServe (an international non-profit providing business solutions to poverty); and Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector Executive Director in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, where he opened regional operations in Dubai’s International Financial Center and developed offices in Iraq.
George is a former Major in the U.S. Marine Corps serving for 10 years domestically and abroad, including four years as a Director of a Regional Contracting Office. He has worked and traveled internationally throughout his career (to over 75 countries) and has extensive expertise in finance, procurement and contracts, change management, transparency, as well as capacity building efforts in developing countries.
George is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, Certified Professional Contracts Manager and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He holds degrees in Accounting from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Acquisitions and Contracts Management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
He is a resident of the District of Columbia where he lives with his daughter.

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NASPO

Which States Have Preference Policies? NASPO Has the Repository!

Giving preference to local bidders is a common means of making government contracts more accessible to resident small business enterprises and supporting local economies.
There are different types of preferences and the policy application around the country varies greatly; this adds complexity for both governmental and business entities trying to understand the preference conditions in each state. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a nationwide resource, a central place with state-by-state information on local preferences and reciprocity laws? Look no further! NASPO just launched the State Preference Repository, a comprehensive database, including preference conditions and law citations for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to help agencies determine the lowest responsible bidder.

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Cybersecurity

Data Privacy and Security: Where Are We in 2019?

Scary stories of cybersecurity incidents, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and/or data privacy violations have sadly become a part of life now. News reports, such as the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, show how private companies’ lax policies on data sharing and lack of proper auditing leave room for data misuse and abuse. Individuals are entitled to know what information private companies or government organizations have on them and how it is shared and protected. As citizens and consumer advocates are becoming more aware of data privacy and security risks, they are calling upon state and federal government to enact regulations so that living in the digital age doesn’t turn every-day social media users into commodities for companies that are willing to “trade” their personal information to make a profit. Read more “Data Privacy and Security: Where Are We in 2019?”
Procurement Methodologies

5 Things You Should Know About Reverse Auctions

Are reverse auctions a win-win for both parties? The answer depends on who you ask, and as always, “the proof is in the pudding”. If done right, they can be a win-win for both buyers and suppliers. The online reverse auction is a cost-effective way in which a single buyer procures goods or services from multiple bidders using an online bidding platform. In this article, we will share a few tips to help demystify reverse auctions and maximize mutual benefits for both parties.

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Centralized Procurement

3 Procurement Leadership Models for the New Year

Centralization and strategic leadership continue to be focus areas for state procurement offices around the country in the new year. This article recaps key takeaways from the 2018 NASPO Annual Conference townhall session on the leading role of the state central procurement office and three existing procurement authority models: centralized, decentralized/delegated and the hybrid procurement authority models. All three models create efficiencies and savings for the state. However, the centralized procurement authority model maximizes resources and outcomes while providing increased oversight, accountability and consistent application of standards and policies statewide.

Continue reading if you are a public procurement leader looking to improve your strategy in 2019!

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2019 Priorities in State Procurement

NASPO Releases 2019 Top Priorities

Just released!!
Based on a ranking from state CPOs, the 2019 Top Ten Priorities and Five Horizon Issues for State Procurement reflect current nationwide priorities as well as forward-looking issues that are likely to impact state procurement.
Throughout 2019, NASPO will develop programs, conference sessions, research and publications around these important focus areas.
The two lists, Top 10 Priorities and Top 5 Horizon Issues for State Procurement, reflect current nationwide priorities as well as forward-looking issues that are likely to impact state procurement. To see the lists, click through to read more!

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KPIs

Meaningful KPIs in Four Easy Steps

Have you been tasked with developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your organization and don’t know where to begin? This quick primer can put you on the fast track!
We’ve all heard different variations of the phrase, “what gets measured gets done,” but how much of that is really true? What and how much of our activities do we need to measure to know whether or not we have achieved the desired results, and what changes to make moving forward?
Measuring and tracking key activities can incentivize employees to perform well and achieve success in specific areas. However, sometimes organizations can fall into the “metric trap” and drive for raw activity numbers rather than focusing on truly measuring key activities that influence their success. So how can we avoid inverse response behavior, where managers and employees end up focusing too much on numbers? Here are a few key questions you should ask before setting out on a performance measuring journey:

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Day in the Life

A Day in the Life – Roz Ingram

“A Day in the Life” is a new series here on Procurement Pulse! We will give you insight into one of our NASPO member’s busy days in the central procurement office of their state, and allow a small peek into their lives. So look for your favorite friendly neighborhood procurement official to be featured here! 
This week we caught up with Rosalyn Ingram, Director of State Purchasing & Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Florida Division of Purchasing to learn more about her role.
Roz has a B.S. degree in Business from Florida State University. She is also a Project Management Professional, Certified Public Manager, and Florida Certified Negotiator. She has 30 years of state government experience and has worked in several agencies to gain her diverse knowledge of state government and best practices in procurement. The Division of State Purchasing, led by Roz, creates state term contracts that leverages all state agency spend, as well as spend created through cities and counties that are able to use them. Her division also provides training for Certified Contract Managers, Certified Negotiators, and Project Management Professionals. They are also charged with rule promulgation and policy initiatives.
 NASPO STAFF: Roz, first of all congratulations on your re-election to serve a second term on the NASPO Board of Directors. You are one of the many energetic CPOs and dedicated NASPO Board of Directors member. Why do you value your membership with NASPO?

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Survey of State Procurement Practices

Surveys that Matter

How many surveys have you completed this year? Chances are you have already participated in several reviews and customer satisfaction surveys. The real question is how many surveys we complete actually matter? In today’s big data world, businesses need to gather data and understand customer behavior in order to gain a strategic advantage or identify new business opportunities. Requests to participate in customer satisfaction surveys, guest surveys after returning from a domestic or international travel, or surveys to evaluate your recent dentist’s visit have become a part of life. The average consumer seems to be bombarded with a lot of “tell us how we did/tell us about your visit” surveys and requests for feedback. Researchers try to strike the right balance between gathering the right amount of information while being mindful of survey fatigue which can lead to low response rates. Rightfully so.
If you are interested in a survey that matters, a survey that offers a comprehensive nationwide perspective of state procurement practices, look no more! NASPO has the best vantage point to provide insight into how various state central procurement offices handle the procurement of goods and services across the country and infer valuable trends. NASPO’s Survey of State Procurement Practices is a comprehensive data collection, and the longest running survey for the association.

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Emerging Technology

The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part…

Living in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
In the previous installment of this two-part series I discussed the amazing transformation and evolution made possible by automation and technology advancements of the 20th century. Today’s technology transformations such as robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, and the Internet-of-Things will have a great impact on society, disrupting every industry and improving many aspects of our personal and work lives. They also create problems for governments around the world that must now figure out how to regulate this new environment and respond to socio-economic concerns such as displacement of workers by automation, or inequality.
Of all big tech companies using AI to enhance their products or services, Amazon is clearly leading the pack with home automation products like Alexa, its version of a personal assistant. Facebook has recently sunset “M,” which hoped to take current personal assistants to the next level where the trained AI machine would have had the same knowledge as the user and do more things than regurgitating various scenarios scripted by app developers. However, the race to lead in AI as a service is on.

Read more “The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part II”