Highlights in the October Issue:
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Upcoming Events  


November 1-3, 2015 (Long Beach, CA)

NASPO Leadership Academy: November 12-13, 2015 (Palm Springs, CA)

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"We're Not On An Island..."
Lessons From the 2015 NASPO Annual Conference 
Over 150 procurement professionals, representing 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, braved the coastal, stormy weather to join together in Norfolk, Virginia, for NASPO's 2015 Annual Conference.

Networking and connecting with fellow procurement professionals is always a priority for members participating in NASPO events, but attendees found even more strategic ways
Breakout session at Annual Conference.
to learn from one another through the conference program.
Discussion-based breakouts brought to light some of the challenges, opportunities and innovations in different states.

Panels including NASPO members and other stakeholders opened avenues to communication with other elements of state government.

Members also participated in a service project benefiting a local charity, giving new meaning and purpose to the time members spend together at the event.

One attendee summed it up best, "We're not on an island." State procurement offices across the nation encounter similar issues and challenges and some are trying great, new, innovative ways to handle these issues resulting in a stronger procurement process.

The 2015 NASPO Annual Conference was really a platform on which to start the conversation about how to address challenges, now and in the future. These conversations can continue to grow and evolve throughout the year; the next time you find yourself feeling isolated, dealing with another procurement challenge, know that you're not on an island, NASPO and your fellow members are here to help!
It is an honor to be your president at this time. As I gathered my thoughts on giving this update, I was struck by how solid and dependable an association NASPO has been for such a long time. We have a robust history and numerous past leaders who have seen us through good times and occasionally not so good times. Their dedication and passion for the profession have brought us to where we are today.

There's a cautionary quote from Benjamin Franklin stating a seemingly obvious, but oftentimes overlooked, reality: "When you're finished changing, you're finished." When we consider this statement in light of NASPO it confirms that while our status quo has always been strong, status quo is not enough.

Last year, leaders poised NASPO for increased success. And this year, we have picked up the momentum on key initiatives that are propelling NASPO into new territories which can be challenging, but is also energizing.

The Board of Directors tackled strategic planning last year, which is an exercise I assure you, none of us took lightly. Strategic goals aren't just flowery words to put on our website; they are the foundation of why we exist as a professional association. NASPO is here to provide Leadership, Excellence, Engagement, Professional Development, and Awareness and serves each of you, its members.

As a natural extension of the strategic planning process, the role of Board Champions was created. Each Board member serves as a champion of one of our strategic areas. They work very closely with staff to ensure we stay focused on the long term goal while addressing the day-to-day issues and streamlining decision making along the way.

I'd like to share some specific examples of our champions at work: click here to read the full President's Corner.
P3's: Trick or Treat?
From the Desk of NASPO Director of Strategic Programs Krista S. Ferrell, CPPO, CPPB
While watching television the other night, I ran across a political ad talking about P3 legislation. Instantly, my ears perked up. While I refrain from political judgements based on negative campaigns ads, I did make a judgement that like it or not, procurement related issues like P3's could be used as a platform in this and future elections as governments continue the look for ways to do more with less. These political issues will further impact how procurement responds to the changing landscape of needs and funding to sustain government. As I sat there listening, the commercial evoked thoughts of risks, benefits, and how innovative practices can carry a myriad of tricks and treats for procurement staff when implemented.

P3's (Public Private Partnerships) are not a new concept. European countries have used P3's to support government projects for decades. "The United States is a relative newcomer to PPPs. Even though there is an old nineteenth-century tradition of privately provided public infrastructure and even of private tolled roads and bridges, the United States still depends almost exclusively on the government for its public transport infrastructure (with the important exception of railroads)." (Engel, Fischer, & Galetovic, 2011) P3's have also had some use in the United States both in the private sector and in the public arena in building, infrastructure, and road construction and this is trickling down into other areas. States are beginning to see this influence and are now exploring use of P3's as a delivery method for meeting state needs, but facilitating a P3 can still be a scary process.

View the full article on naspo.org.
NASPO Presents at 2015 NASCA Institute on Management and Leadership
NASPO Board Member Larry Maxwell (far left) represented NASPO on a partner's panel discussion on convergence on October 8 in Denver, Colorado at the National Association of State Chief Administrators Institute on Management and Leadership. Maxwell was joined by representatives from NASCA, the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the National Association of State Personnel Executives (NASPE) and the National Association of State Facilities Administrators (NASFA).

Panelists shared insights on how their memberships are responding to the phenomenon of convergence, challenges they are encountering, and new opportunities the changing environment is creating for collaboration. "We need to move past ownership, work on common goals and speak in each other's language," noted Maxwell. He also shared several highlights from NASPO's Top 10 Focus Areas for State Procurement as a part of the discussion.

The topic of convergence was derived from a new case study, The Promise of Convergence: Transforming Health Care Delivery in Missouri. The case study, which was developed for NASCA by a Leadership for a Networked World, defines convergence as ".... a phenomenon in which technological, economic, and social factors are co-evolving to create a new operating environment. Convergence can often upend existing institutional models, value propositions, and legitimacy. They may introduce new stakeholders, partners, and customers, along with disruptive technologies and evolving economic incentives. The resulting changes to the operating environment often blur the boundaries between policy domains and governmental organizations, and can also shift the services and outcomes that citizens and stakeholders demand."

Read the case study here.
NASPO Fact Sheets Released
NASPO is excited to release two new fact sheets, one on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing and another on Strategic Sourcing.

NASPO fact sheets are created by staff and are a compilation of information previously developed by NASPO via research briefs, white papers, surveys, the Practical Guide and other publications, simply honed down into one-page documents for your convenience. You might utilize them for a variety of purposes, including as a quick reference tool or as an outline for a speaking engagement or presentation.

Five Fact Sheets are currently available for use, and NASPO staff will be releasing additional fact sheets throughout October, each will be focused upon an important issue in state procurement. Please watch the NASPO Bulletin and NASPO website for the announcement of new fact sheets.

If you have any questions or would like to recommend a topic, please contact Matt Oyer at moyer@naspo.org.
NASPO Recognizes Innovation in State Government Procurement 
George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence Recognize Tennessee, Minnesota and New York; Finalists Include Ohio and Delaware
NASPO honored three innovative state procurement programs with the George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence at its Annual Conference during the Cronin Club Luncheon held September 29th in Norfolk, Virginia. Nominations were scored based on the criteria of innovation and initiative, transferability, service improvement, and demonstrable cost reduction. Submissions from Tennessee, Minnesota, and New York received top honors this year.

This year Tennessee comes home with the Gold Cronin Award. After winning the Bronze Award last year, Tennessee had their eye on the prize this year. Their nomination Tourist Development - Marketing and Advertising saw favor with the judges as the highest scoring nomination. Tennessee's Central Procurement Office developed a highly innovative four-tier procurement process to select a contract for traditional, website, and online digital marketing and advertising for tourist development. As a result of increased marketing and advertising through this contract, coupled with Tennessee Tourism Committee activities, Tennessee estimates $1 billion in increased tourism spending from 2013 to 2014.

Read the full press release noting all the winners here.
Get to Know the NASPO Staff
Jessica Whitehead, OLMS Coordinator
Name:  Jessica Whitehead

Title:  NASPO OLMS Coordinator

Year started at NASPO: February 2015

Brief description of current role:  I manage the Procurement U Online Learning Management System (OLMS).  Through the OLMS you can register for courses and classes, join groups to interact with other members and access our resources.

Education:  BA in Elementary Education from Asbury University

Fun Facts:  I love to cook, try new recipes, bake and have a slight obsession with cupcakes!

Most memorable NASPO event so far:  I recently attended the Annual Conference in Norfolk which was my first NASPO Event.  It was great to finally get to meet and interact with our members.  I am looking forward to many more memorable NASPO moments.
Procurement University Updates
NASPO Members Participate in Pre-Conference Session at 2015 Annual Conference and Web-Based, Self-Paced Class
NASPO Education Coordinator Sarah Steele Roar welcomes attendees at the Procurement U pre-conference session offered in partnership with Old Dominion University.
At NASPO's 2015 Annual Conference, more than 60 attendees kicked things off with Procurement University pre-conference training offered in partnership with Old Dominion University.

This window into the academic study of public procurement included topics such as strategic public procurement, public sector contract planning and formation, public sector procurement law and ethics and public sector contract administration.

In addition, 39 NASPO members representing 27 states completed Procurement U 201: Market Research Strategies last month.  

This web-based, self-paced course was NASPO's inaugural online Procurement U course and helped serve as a beta test for the Procurement U Online Learning Management System. 

The course, which will be offered again in 2016, reviewed the definition of market research and how it influences decision making in public procurement. Ten lucky participants will receive a complimentary Procurement U t-shirt for assisting NASPO by providing their feedback.  
NASPO staff is in the process of reviewing the feedback from the evaluations from both the Annual Conference preconference session and the online course. The feedback provided by members will be incorporated into upcoming Procurement U courses. A detailed course catalog for the fall and tentative schedule for 2016 will be released later in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about Procurement U, please contact staff at procurementu@naspo.org or visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on naspo.org.

Congratulations to NASPO Member and Washington IT Acquisitions Analyst Brenda Derge (pictured right).  She and nine other randomly drawn participants from Procurement University's inaugural online course received a Procurement U t-shirt for completing their evaluation. 
Do You Have Procurement U Questions?
Do you have a burning question about Procurement U?  Check out the new Frequently Asked Questions page on NASPO.org  to get answers to questions like:   
  • What kind of learning opportunities does Procurement U offer?
  • How can I sign up for upcoming Procurement U classes or sessions? 
  • Who can participate in Procurement U?
  • Can Procurement U help me prepare to earn my CPPO or CPPB certification though UPPCC?
You can also email questions to procurementu@naspo.org for additional assistance. 

For more information on the examination process visit http://www.uppcc.org/. For helpful exam preparation tools check out the Certification Webpage on the NASPO website. 
NASPO's mission is to help our members achieve success as public procurement leaders in their states through promotion of best practices, education, professional development, research, and innovative procurement strategies.