This week we caught up with Cindy Lombardi, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Colorado. Perfect timing too! NASPO’s 2019 Exchange Conference is being hosted in the beautiful capital city of Denver.
Cindy has served as Colorado’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) since March of 2015. As CPO, she launched the Procurement Code Modernization Initiative that has resulted in an improved procurement code and procurement rule changes for the state. Cindy has over 20 years of experience in purchasing and contracts for the federal government, the University of Colorado, and several state agencies including the Departments of Personnel & Administration, Public Health & Environment, Revenue, and Human Services. Cindy is a Director at Large on the NASPO Board of Directors and is currently serving as Conference and Events Champion. She has also served on the NASPO ValuePoint Management Board since 2015. Cindy is also currently the 2019 Chairperson of the NASPO Exchange committee and has been instrumental in the conception, planning and execution of the upcoming conference, April 9-11, 2019.
Happy Procurement Month! Here at NASPO, we want to say thank you for not only the work you do in the month of March, but every month! We celebrate Procurement Month because this month gives us the opportunity to recognize your hard work, but also to help educate elected officials, vendors, and taxpayers about the work you do as your role of stewards of public trust. Please enjoy this short video about why procurement is important and how you can help us celebrate Procurement Month!
The private sector has invested more than 1.4 billion dollars in blockchain since 2014. To put this number into context, this is on par with the amount of money spent on internet investments during the early 90’s! What do you know about blockchain? Personally, I knew almost nothing besides the fact it was a technology people were excited about and that it had something to do with Bitcoin. Luckily for me, Procurement U recently released a free course entitled “Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture”. This course provided me with a basic understanding of how blockchain works and explains it in a simple, approachable way through videos and interactive graphics. As someone who is not the most technically savvy, I can say that this course helped me understand blockchain and made me excited about its potential uses. This course goes over how blockchain works and how it can be used in procurement. Take this Procurement U course to start exploring blockchain and its uses in your office!
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.
This week we caught up with Lisa Eason, Deputy Commissioner for the State of Georgia, and 2019 NASPO President.
Lisa has served as Georgia’s Deputy Commissioner of the State Purchasing Division since August of 2015. She is responsible for the administration of the State’s purchasing card program, the sourcing division which includes the agency sourcing, strategic sourcing, contract management, and data analytics units. She also manages the policy and training division which administers the state’s purchasing training program and the development and oversight of Georgia’s procurement policies and procedures. The Audit and Compliance Division, which is responsible for audits related to P-Cards and the purchasing process, also falls under her purview.
In the world of modern procurement, your office is constantly doing business with citizens, vendors, and government agencies. Leaving a lasting positive impression on your customers is a key component of your central procurement office’s ability to conduct its mission. Happier employees will help you accomplish those customer service goals. Customer service and agency relations is number one on the 2019 NASPO Top 10 Priorities, cementing that customer satisfaction is important to CPOs across the country. When the ultimate end user in every procurement transaction is the taxpayer, each step in the procurement process is important, including customer service. In 2003, two Canadian policy analysts conducted a study concerning public employee’s job satisfaction and customer satisfaction with government goods and services. They discovered the relationship between employee and customer satisfaction is reciprocal in nature. By investing in employee satisfaction, you will simultaneously see improvement in your customer satisfaction and agency relations. That’s two improvements with one action – two satisfactions with one procurement stone. Read more “3 Ways to Simultaneously Improve Employee and Customer Satisfaction”
This article is a proponent of NASPO Best Practices: Ethics and Accountability white paper, and aims to augment research in proactive ethical practices through accountability, transparency, and conflict of interest. NASPO strives to emit leadership, excellence and, integrity while elevating the profession of public procurement through best practices. As stewards of taxpayers money, it is imperative that procurement staff not only choose the right path when dealing with an ethical dilemma, but the ‘best’ path, in order to remain beyond reproach in the public eye.
Article by Dana Dembrow (State of MD), Intro by Olivia Hook Frey (NASPO)
Introduction by Olivia Hook Frey:
Many of our states have expressed concerns associated with their retirement-age workforce. Even more stress-inducing is not knowing where or how to recruit new talent to fill those gaps. As part of NASPO’s higher education initiatives, student recruitment at the college-level has been a priority. This emerging talent is oftentimes overlooked in the public sector, but NASPO is working to change that. Through our partnership with impressive colleges and universities across the country, we work to place these quality students in both internships and full-time positions within our state purchasing offices.
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!