Highlights in the September Issue:

Hope to see you soon in Norfolk!

Upcoming Events  


September 27-30, 2015 (Norfolk, VA) 

NASPO Western Regional Conference:  
November 1-3, 2015 (Long Beach, CA)

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

Visit our YouTube channel to view NASPO webinars
2015 State & Local Procurement Law Institute
"Double the Fun"
Based on the positive response from the inaugural 2014 State and Local Procurement Law Institute, NASPO doubled the capacity of the program and welcomed over 100 attorneys to the 2015 program in Fort Worth, Texas, August 16-18.

Designed to provide procurement-specific legal education to the attorneys who serve state procurement programs, the agenda included topics like Information Security, Software Licensing, Indemnity and Commercial Liability Insurance and Cloud Services Negotiations. 

Participants of the 2015 institute shared with one another their challenges and learned about solutions implemented in other states. 

Few other educational events are geared so directly to state procurement; this theme was reflected in many comments received from institute participants, like "This was the absolute best CLE that I have ever attended. I found great value in every single presentation, as well as in the supplemental materials that were provided." 

The program highlighted the importance of the relationship between a CPO and his or her legal team and NASPO is excited to continue to pursue opportunities to support these critical conversations!
States Attend Webinar To Learn "Guidance For Leadership In Sustainable Purchasing"
On September 2 the Green Purchasing Committee (GPC) offered another live webinar in the NASPO Green Purchasing Webinar Series: "Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing." We are pleased to report that the webinar had a great turnout.

The guest speaker for the presentation was Sam Hummel, the Director of Outreach and Operations, for the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC). Hummel provided an introduction to the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council and its Guidance for Leadership in Sustainable Purchasing v1.0. The guidance document is intended to help organizations improve the environmental, social, and economic performance within their supply chains - across the entirety of product and service life cycles - by implementing a strategic sustainable purchasing program. The presentation was followed by discussion and several questions from the attendees. 

Additionally, NASPO member and GPC vice-chair Jonathan Rifkin (District of Columbia, Sustainable Purchasing Program Manager), described his involvement in SPLC and how he has been able to incorporate SPLC's Guidance into his work. The webinar was moderated by Matt Oyer (NASPO Policy Analyst). 

You can visit NASPO's web site and the Green Purchasing Guide page for a recording of the webinar and presentation slides.  
NASPO Survey of State Procurement Practices 2015 Updates Now Available
Check out the 2015 edition of the NASPO Survey of State Procurement Practices brought to you in a user-friendly web application with added search functionality available here on the NASPO website.

This edition includes information from 46 jurisdictions, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico on an extremely wide range of questions covering procurement authority, laws, policies and best practices. Survey responses reflect the growing strategic nature of state procurement and the leadership role of the chief procurement officer.

Log in here using your NASPO user name and password combination and download, print, or view complete survey results by state, by section, questions, or key word.

Click here for the Survey Summary Report.

For questions or more information on the survey, please contact Elena Moreland at emoreland@naspo.org
Did You Know?  
Reply From Your Email 
You may have noticed a change recently in your NASPO Network daily digest or real time discussion emails. NASPO Network now has the ability for communities to reply to a post straight from your inbox.

This means you can respond to any discussion post without having to login to the community or even opening your web browser.

This change was made in an effort to stay current with Higher Logic's community engagement best practices. If you would like to read more about this change, please check out Kristy's recent post in the All Members Group to learn all the details.
Get to Know the NASPO Staff
Elena Moreland, NASPO Senior Policy Analyst
Name:  Elena Moreland

Title:  NASPO Senior Policy Analyst

Year started at NASPO: March 2011

Brief description of current role:  I work closely with state procurement professionals to produce informative papers and reports regarding best practices and emerging issues. I also manage special projects and conduct research for the association.  

            BS in Materials Science and Engineering, Polytechnic University of  Bucharest
            MS in Materials Science and Engineering, Polytechnic University of  Bucharest
            Masters of Public Administration, University of Kentucky 

Fun Facts:  My husband and I enjoy traveling and visiting with friends and family. We like to try ethnic restaurants and explore new cities and countries. 

Most memorable NASPO event so far:  The scenic beauty of Burlington and the Lake Champlain dinner cruise are lasting memories from the 2014 Annual Conference. Also, I had to learn how to make home-made pancakes to put the Vermont maple syrup to good use. 
From the Desk of Jinhai Yu, NASPO Intern
I am Jinhai Yu, a second-year PhD student from Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky. My summer internship at NASPO started on June 15 and ended on August 14, 2015.

In the nine weeks of internship, I completed a dozen of projects under the guidance of multiple NASPO staff. They included policy research tasks such as drafting a fact sheet, data collection on green purchasing and state procurement legislation, administrative work like submitting NASPO course applications to state committees on Continuing Legal Education, regular participation in weekly NASPO staff meetings and committee calls, and other tasks.

Overall, I am very grateful that I had such a great opportunity to work with nice people in a nice place - NASPO headquarters in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. All the staff members I met were kind, helpful, and supportive. I also enjoyed the assignments I completed, which enabled me to learn more about state procurement practices and observe how a first-class association management organization works in the real world.
Procurement University Updates
Procurement U State Training Spotlight: Delaware
Professional Development is a Culture, Not a One-Time Event
In a recent NASPO survey on professional development, NASPO members cited travel, time away from the office, limited financial resources for training and a lack of relevant training opportunities as some of the major barriers to training for procurement professionals.

To overcome these issues and encourage ongoing professional development in his state, Dean Stotler, director of Delaware's Department of Government Support Services, is very intentional about creating a culture that puts strong value on professional development. He credits professional development as one of the keys to employee satisfaction, retention and performance.

"Providing your staff with professional growth opportunities is the most important retention tool that you have as a CPO," explained Stotler. For example, Stotler notices an immediate positive effect after staff participates in educational events like the NASPO regional meetings. "Sending staff to the Eastern region meetings helps them get new ideas and learn best practices through conversations with their peers in similar positions," explained Stotler. "They come back rejuvenated, and I see lift in performance. They bring home new ideas and begin to implement best practices." 

To support ongoing professional development efforts, Stotler uses NASPO professional development funds to offset training expenses and encourages staff to take advantage of Procurement U educational offerings. In addition, Delaware also uses employee performance evaluations to further emphasize the importance of ongoing learning.

In Delaware, each procurement professional creates a performance plan that identifies areas of improvement. Staff members and their supervisors work together to identify courses and certifications that can help employees expand areas of expertise and hone skills. Employees understand that engaging in professional development is one measurement of their performance.

"It's an expectation just as important as other measurable goals, such as achieving savings or solicitation development," said Stotler.

Delaware also reinforces a culture that supports professional development through regular recognition and internal communication about the educational accomplishments of staff members. For example, when staff members obtain CPPO or CPPB certifications or even non-procurement professional certifications, the news is shared on an internal website. It is also promoted in a divisional monthly e-newsletter and noted during standing team meetings. Finally, staff members are encouraged to include certification letters in their professional signatures.

The central procurement office staff also acknowledge that there is healthy competition among staff to achieve certifications. The CPPO or CPPB certifications provide instant credibility, which is helpful when working with vendors and external agencies who are seeking guidance on procurement issues.

Stotler noted that CPOs should recognize creating a professional development culture is not just a one-day journey. "This is a culture shift to embrace. It will take several years to get all the benefit. Staff will come in at different places on the journey. If you are persistent, your whole operation will benefit."

"Chief Procurement Officers should not fear training staff members and then having them leave. CPOs should embrace it," said Stotler. "We are a farm team for talent. If staff members do leave for other positions, they take their procurement skills with them, as well as a deeper understanding of honesty, fairness and openness. This translates to good government everywhere."

Editor's note: NASPO is featuring a reoccurring spotlight on how states provide training and professional development for procurement professionals. If you would like us to feature your state, please contact procurementu@naspo.org.
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. 
Attention CPPO and CPPB Fall Test Takers
Are you or one of your colleagues planning to take the CPPO or the CPPB exam in October 2015? NASPO is launching a new study group opportunity designed to help you prepare for your exam.

Procurement U if currently offering access to online, facilitated study groups for UPPCC exam takers.  There are groups set up for both the CPPO and CPPB exams.  Study groups are available at no cost to help any state procurement official who is preparing for a UPPCC exam through the Procurement U Online Learning Management System (OLMS). The study group for fall test takers will be available from mid-August until the test dates in October.

The study group will provide participants with access to an online community to:
* share ideas on discussion boards
* attend webinars
* access to test prep documents

The groups can be accessed here: Procurement U Online Learning Management System (OLMS). See below for additional log in information.

Additional study groups are anticipated for NASPO members who are planning to take either exam in Spring 2016.
Log In To Procurement U Online Learning Management System (OLMS)
The Procurement U Online Learning Management System (OLMS) is your gateway to register for classes, access to Procurement U resources and join study groups. You will be prompted to change your password as soon as you log in. If you are not a NASPO member and would like access, please click "Sign up here" to create a profile. If you have any difficulties with log in, please contact Jessica Whitehead at jwhitehead@naspo.org.

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.