The National Association of State Procurement Officers (NASPO) just held its annual NASPO Exchange (#NASPOExchange) in New York City. This was my first time attending a NASPO event and I was impressed. The organization does a great job bringing together buyers and sellers, facilitating healthy dialogue and challenging conventional thinking (@unmarketing). Elected officials and government leaders should take note of NASPO’s work – procurements, if run well, can be strategic tools for implementing government priorities, can establish sustainable outcomes and can improve service for citizens.
Improving government procurement processes and practices has long been a desire from a marketplace that is moving faster everyday. Recent efforts have shed light on the need to improve government procurement. This is especially true in the technology market where standard practices produce contracts that are out of date before they are even signed. It is astounding that in this day and age preventing communication between buyer and seller is often times seen as a hallmark of a well-run procurement (I heard this more than once at NASPO!).
Effective government procurements are necessary to bring new solutions and services to government customers (citizens). A well run procurement is timely, defines expectations for the buyer and the seller and establishes the governance to support sustainable outcomes. Procurements require communications between parties and an engagement from the buyer that makes end users the hero of the story. Governments should take a harder look at their procurement practices, challenge old ways of thinking and take the time to consider new approaches. Changing government is hard, but its not rocket science. Let’s pay more attention to groups like NASPO – citizens deserve it.
– Patrick Moore, April 2018 – [bio]