Procurement can be a powerful tool for local economies, but it takes more than a policy change to make things work. The decision of which firm will receive a contract from a State or Local government does not always make it into the news, but state and local agencies do spend a lot of money. Highways and roads must be paved, lawyers need to be hired, and office supplies need to be purchased—activities that require rules to govern these contracts: procurement policies. Making procurement a priority can be an important mechanism to advance other public aims.
The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) recently published the Top 10 priorities for state procurement leaders in 2017. The group conducts a survey of the state CPO to identify and prioritize the top procurement and technology issues facing state government.
Priorities identified by NASPO include:
- Centralizing procurement
- Elevating the role of central procurement office in the hierarchy of the executive branch
- Active participation in creating an enterprise vision for the state
Other priorities identified by NASPO was the professionalization of the procurement workforce through integrated eProcurement/ERP solutions. The ability to measure performance is another trend identified, and one that has been consistently reported in the survey for the last couple of years.
A notable example is the new administration under City of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. When de Blassio first took office in 2014, his administration tackled a less-than-flashy-issue: how to change who was winning city programs. The Mayor’s administration prioritized reducing income inequality by way of helping businesses owned by people of color and women to bid on, and win, city contracts. It worked. The City awarded $690M in contracts to businesses majority-owned by minorities or women (57% increase from the previous years). New York City’s new focus on who it does business with is just one of the recent events that’s bringing the often-overlooked power of procurement into the spotlight. Read why the City of New York Selected Ivalua and KPMG for Procurement Innovation Initiative Across All City Agencies.