In the past twelve months, what significant challenges has your procurement office faced? Have you had internal conversation about the struggle to replace a retirement-age workforce? Did you have to adjust in order to overcome a supply chain disruption caused by a major weather event? Chances are that you have- and you are not alone. For every qualified individual, there are six vacancies in the procurement sector, and we all have watched the news as natural and man-made disasters like devastating wildfires have affected millions of people. So, what should you and your fellow procurement officials do in the face of all of this uncertainty?
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.
A couple of weeks ago (June 4th – 6th), I attended the Summit on Government Performance and Innovation in Minneapolis, which is organized by Governing and has been held annually since 2015. This is the second time I represented NASPO at this event to learn about the innovative initiatives of cities and governments around the country and bring that information back to NASPO members. Demographics, inclusive procurement and challenging the status quo were just some of the topics discussed. These innovative topics helped to set the tone for modernizing the way government does business. This conference highlighted the creative solutions governments are using to address a changing world. Read more “Climbing the Summit: Government Performance and Innovation Recap”→
Here at NASPO, we love hearing about the interesting things happening at central procurement offices across America! D.C. recently hosted an international delegation of government officials and public workers from Israel to discuss best practices when procuring social service contracts. This was the third international delegation the D.C. procurement office hosted this year. The D.C. office was kind enough to share the lessons they learned from these experiences. We talked to George Schutter, the CPO of D.C., Nancy Hapeman, the Deputy Chief Procurement Officer, and Keysha Taylor, their General Counsel, about their visit. They found that “even though [they] are from different countries and have a different set of laws and a different set of regulations, there are similar procurement issues…that [they] are both dealing with”.
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.
Approximately 30 states have adopted preferences for small or local businesses and 37 states also have “reciprocal laws” which add a percentage increase to out of state bidder’s proposal when compared to in-state bids. These local preferences can have a significant impact to a state’s economy. Purchasing in-state will not only increase a state’s revenue through sales and other taxes, but also have a broader impact on the local economy through the multiplier effect. Read more “Keeping up with the Economy: Local Economic Multipliers”→
This week, we caught up with Wisconsin State Training Coordinator, Jessica Vieira. Jessica has a heart for service and a mind for training. Using her background in non-profit organizations, Jessica brings a refreshing view of training to the state employees of Wisconsin. Read below to find out more about this week’s featured Day in the Life interviewee!
Jessica Vieira has been Wisconsin’s State Training Coordinator since early 2017. Before this, she attended California Polytechnic State University on a full scholarship through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Gates Millennium Scholars Program and graduated in 2004 with a B.S. in Psychology. She later completed coursework toward a master’s in education with a focus in special education. She devoted the next decade of her life to working for a non-profit mental health organization, where she was responsible for providing mental health education, training, and recovery tools to those in her community. In addition, she partnered with various California agencies, such as the California Highway Patrol and local technical colleges, to provide mental health crisis trainings to all officers and many EMT-trainees along California’s central coast. In 2016, she decided to broaden her horizons and took an opportunity for a fresh start in Madison, Wisconsin.
The third annual NASPO Academic Forum was hosted May 14-16 at Oregon State University. We were thrilled to take the forum to the West Coast with our partners at OSU! Although it was a bit of a trek for many of our attendees, the event was a success! This year, 70 attendees represented 24 states, 8 academic institutions, a strategic partner and even a handful of students. Academic Forum attendees, both academics and state members, support NASPO’s higher education initiatives with their passion for learning and collaboration.
NASPO’s Higher Education initiatives are built upon our relationships with academic partners. After more than three years of working with these impressive academics and their students, the answer to a need of our membership often lies with one of our partner schools. NASPO encourages its membership to participate in academic partner career fairs, case competitions and many other events, but the ultimate goal is to build an example for the states to model when reaching out to their local institutions. NASPO has worked to establish relationships with top-tier Supply Chain Management programs across the country. Of course, the primary goal in everything we do is to serve our members, and these partnerships are no different.
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?”→