Procurement Award Gains Noted Sponsor…and more
In an historic opportunity to bridge two nationally focused associations that mutually support the public procurement profession, the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) Board of Directors unanimously agreed to sponsor the Achievement in Excellence in Procurement (AEP) award that is issued by the National Purchasing Institute (NPI).
NIGP joins the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officers (FAPPO), the California Association of Public Procurement Officers (CAPPO), and the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) as official sponsors of the AEP award.
The award was founded by NPI in 1995 to recognize organizational excellence in public and non-profit procurement. The award also encourages the development of excellence, provides benchmarks for continued excellence, increases awareness of public and non-profit procurement as a profession, and identifies core criteria of excellence.
The AEP annual award contrasts with NIGP’s Outstanding Agency Accreditation Achievement Award (OA4) and the Pareto Award in many respects. The AEP is an annual award while the OA4 accredits a public entity for three years and requires re-accreditation. And while NPI’s program measures enhancements that are valuable to leadingedge institutions (innovation, leadership, productivity, and professionalism), NIGP’s program establishes the minimum baseline thresholds for excellence through a comprehensive list of mandatory and optional activities that serve as benchmarks for accreditation. In essence, the two programs complement each other as unique tools for recognizing excellence within the public procurement profession.
NIGP is confident that its sponsorship of the AEP Award is the first of many collaborative efforts where the institute will be able to partner with NPI in advancing the value and credibility of the public procurement profession.
“The inclusion of NIGP as a sponsor enhances the prestige and significance of the AEP award,” says Wayne Casper, Director of Procurement, City of Tucson, AZ, and Chair of the AEP Committee. “The program is now positioned to provide additional recognition to the public procurement profession and to encourage the continued development of excellence.”
By appointing Jean Clark, Deputy State Procurement Administrator for the State of Arizona and 2003 NIGP President, and Kirk Buffington, Director of Procurement and Materials Management for the City of Fort Lauderdale, FL, and Chair of the NIGP National Research Committee to the AEP Committee, NIGP President-Elect Ron Watkins demonstrates the importance of this program and establishes the basis for the improvement and growth of the AEP Award.
For more information on the AEP Award, visit: www.tucsonaz.gov/ procure/aep.
Marines Update Procurement Policy and Programs
The U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) recognized that its procurement system was in need of modernization. The time-consuming system was expensive and lacked the ability to support fair and open competition.
The MCSC was divided into approximately 20 program groups, all of which obtained goods and services as separate operating entities. This fragmentation limited the MCSC’s ability to generate economical order quantities, ensure process consistency, achieve Section 803 regulatory compliance, and capture performance metrics.
Driven by the exchange of paper documents, communication between parties involved in the procurement process was often ad hoc, creating process bottlenecks and delays. Plus, the MCSC’s lack of an efficient means to communicate new opportunities to all vendors, resulted in limited competition.
Recently, the MCSC adopted a new procurement policy, the Commercial Enterprise Omnibus Support Services Program, which is intended to: support the procurement function of its program groups; and increase competition among its private-sector vendors.
Recognizing that it could not effectively adhere to these new standards with its existing process, the MCSC decided to implement a Web-based business process management application to streamline procurement operations.
In addition, officials created the Acquisition Center for Support Services (ACSS) to centrally manage the entire Web-based procurement process for each of the MCSC’s 20 program groups, from initial realization of need to final issuance of contracts. The MCSC selected Appian Corporation’s Appian Procurement solution to power its new Webbased solution, designated Electronic Procurement Portal, or eP2.
The new eP2 system provides an electronic marketplace whereby the ACSS can coordinate with its internal customers (the 20 MCSC program groups) as well as interact with vendors directly to request quotes, obtain product information, make purchases, and review order status.
Now, ACSS staff can centrally manage documents, tasks, decisions, and requirements. Internal customers can manage and monitor the bidding process and evaluate/select vendors. Vendors with Blanket Purchasing Agreements (BPAs) can access opportunities, download SOWs and RFQs, and submit proposals.
By centralizing its procurement process, eP2 has enabled the Marines to reduce transaction costs by 20 percent across the board.
Operating as a business process management tool, eP2 manages all documents and workflow processes, such as approvals. In addition, eP2 breaks the procurement process into logical steps and provides electronic reminders to people when their involvement is necessary, effectively decreasing procurement turnaround time.
When new opportunities are available, Appian Procurement automatically e-mails all vendors who are eligible to bid for the work, thereby adhering to the competitive standards outlined in the MCSC’s procurement policy.
“[The] procurement solution has reduced competitive award of task orders to less than 18 days, employing performance-based techniques that have resulted in over $100 million in awards at an aggregate cost reduction of almost $9 million in the past 12 months,” says Mark Hoyland, ACSS Director, U.S. Marine Corps.
The centralized procurement process allowed the MCSC to reduce procurement turnaround times by more than 50 percent.
GAO Reveals E-Gov Successes, Failures
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sponsored 25 highprofile, e-government initiatives. The initiatives were selected on the basis of value to citizens, potential improvement in agency efficiency, and the likelihood of deployment within 18 to 24 months. In May 2002, a total of 91 objectives were set for these initiatives. At the request of the OMB Subcommittee, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) assessed the progress.
According to a recent GAO report, overall, mixed progress has been made. As of March 2004, 33 of the 91 objectives have been fully or substantially achieved; 38 have been partially achieved; and for 17, no significant progress has been made. In addition, three of the objectives no longer apply due to impracticality.
Examples of the initiatives that have made good progress include the Integrated Acquisition Evironment, which created a single point of registration and validation for vendors and a directory of interagency contracts that currently references 16,000 contracts; and grants.gov, which established a Web portal that, as of February 2004, allowed prospective grants applicants to find and apply for a total of 835 grant opportunities at 29 grant-making agencies.
A contrasting example is Project SAFECOM, which has made very limited progress over the past two years, largely because the management teams for the project have changed four times among three different federal agencies.
The GAO links success and failure to how each group addresses key challenges, including (1) focusing on achievable objectives that meet customer needs, (2) maintaining management stability through executive commitment, (3) collaborating effectively with partner agencies and stakeholders, (4) driving transformational changes in business processes, and (5) implementing effective funding strategies.
In a related story, the Industry Advisory Council’s (IAC) eGov Shared Interest Group (SIG) and the Federal CIO Council, announced the Federal agency programs selected as the “Top 5” within the Excellence.gov awards program.
Winners include Small Business Administration—BusinessLaw.gov, Securities and Exchange Commission—Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR), Department of Health and Human Services—National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)—Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank (HIPDB), Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency—Disaster Management, and Department of Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency—Federal Technical Data Solution (FedTeDS).
Judges representing government and industry considered model maturity, innovation, results, mission impact, and replication possibilities.
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Fact Sheet Targets Hybrid Electic Vehicles
“Harnessing the Power of Advanced Fleet Vehicles: A Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fact Sheet for Governement Officials” targets local and state government officials, and describes hybrid fleet applications, operations, benefits, and costs. Find a PDF version of the fact sheet at www.newdream.org/procure/.
The fact sheet is published in conjunction with the National Association of Counties (NaCo).
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