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.
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.
Agency relations and customer service is NASPO’s top priority for 2019. What an exciting topic to tackle as it is the first time it appears on NASPO’s Top 10 in the last two years! Current NASPO President Lisa Eason is a big supporter of highlighting agency relations initiatives across the country.
Improving relationships with state agencies not only increases the efficiency of procurements in the state but also makes the process and experience for both agency staff and procurement staff less tedious. However, many states have yet to implement extensive programs and initiatives due to the different puzzle pieces that need to come together to make the change effective. Improving agency relations and customer service is a complex task that requires both employees and management to change mind-sets and behaviors. At times, it requires organizations to restructure their operations to function in a customer-centric mindset rather than working in the traditional silos.
NASPO Exchange 2019 was an eye-opening experience. Some of you may or may not know, I have only been a part of the NASPO team since January 2019, so this was not only my first Exchange, but my first NASPO conference. My coworkers have been trying to prepare me for what exactly to expect. I’ve heard a lot of, “It’s going to be like no other professional conference you’ve been to!” and “Girl, you better pack at least three pairs of shoes.” I quickly found out that all of the above were true, and then some. Keep reading to hear about my first Exchange! Read more “My First NASPO Exchange—Denver, Suppliers and Buyers, Oh My!”
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.
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!