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NASPO Executive Director, Board Member Attends Governing Institute: 2015 Outlook

 NASPO Executive Director DeLaine Bender and Alabama State Purchasing Director and NASPO Board Member Michael Jones were invited to attend the Governing Institute 2015 Outlook session, held February 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C.

Leadership from top government associations spoke about state and local issues that are driving the nation’s policy agenda.  David Adkins, Executive Director/CEO, The Council of State Governments, Dan Crippen, Ph.D., Executive Director, National Governors Association and William T. Pound, Executive Director, National Conference of State Legislatures gave the state government perspective.  See picture. 

In addition, a panel of public sector procurement officials and experts discussed new developments and opportunities in government purchasing and how new approaches, such as Accelerator Models, Quality Management, Effective Communication, pre-planning and collaborative terms and conditions for “As-a-service” contracts may help cut costs and improve results in the public sector.  NASPO Life Member Dugan Petty, who is also a Senior Fellow at the Governing Institute, moderated this session.

The session was thought-provoking and encouraged the audience to challenge conventional ways of conducting procurement. One concept discussed was issuing a request for solutions, which defines the need and asks suppliers to propose a possible solution. It highlighted the importance of identifying the underlying problem procurement is trying to solve and asking for solutions, rather than being overly prescriptive to encourage creativity and innovation.

“This was an important opportunity for NASPO to hear the perspectives of our strategic partners and stakeholder associations as we identify emerging trends in procurement,” said Jones.

The Governing Institute also hosted a State Procurement Summit.  At the summit, Bender and Jones worked with experts from government, national organizations, industry, and vendors to identify best practice criteria, organizational attributes and measures that are indicative of high performance, future-facing public procurement organizations. The group examined practices in a three primary categories including: goods and services/professional services; building and transportation infrastructure construction and services and Information Technology.

The information gathered at the summit will be used to prepare a survey of all 50 states and acknowledge best practices and provide feedback to procurement agencies and decision makers. The best procurement practices and agencies will be acknowledged at an event in early 2016, and the Governing Institute intends to make this a regular work program in the future.

Additional NASPO members in attendance included Georgia Deputy Commissioner for Procurement Leslie Lowe, South Carolina Deputy General Counsel for the Budget and Control Board Keith McCook, NASPO Life Members David Gragan, Dick Thompson, Dugan Petty and NASPO Honorary Member Don Buffum.  Gary Lambert, Massachusetts Assistant Secretary for Operational Services, was invited but could not attend due to weather conditions.

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