Pillars of the Public: Procurement Officials

NASPO representatives at the Poole College of Management Career Fair in February 2020.

By The NASPO Research and Innovation Team

At the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), we are state procurement officials’ educational, networking and training arm.

To the public, procurement is a hidden function, but procurement has touched almost every interaction that any member of the public has with a public entity.

Road asphalt?  Public procurement officials buy that.

N95 medical masks to fight the coronavirus pandemic? Public procurement officials buy that.

Office supplies for state agencies, public construction projects, warehousing/positioning public goods for emergency scenarios as well as everyday use and earmarking for surplus? Public procurement officials are involved in all of these and so much more.

Procurement is the process of buying goods and services for public entities. On the surface, this sounds like an easy charge—just buy the things states and localities need to carry out public work, right?

There’s a lot more to it.

Public procurement officials are strategic leaders who understand that lowest dollar bid does not always mean best value and in public funds, every dollar spent should be stretched to receive maximum benefit. Public procurement officials operate within a complex network of statues and regulations to find the efficient and value-centered path of each procurement; all the while upholding the highest standards of transparency and ethical accountability.

Bringing the definition of value to public dollars and cents.

There is not a person in the entire nation that does not directly benefit from the work of public procurement. Procurement officials stay up to date on current supply chain trends, innovative procurement processes and vehicles. When the world stood still in the wake of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, public procurement officials answered the call across the country in a marathon of purchasing with one universal goal: saving lives. Already a profession with a focus in continuous process improvement and innovation, procurement officials dug deep. Dividing focus across multiple areas including:

Truly, public procurement officials have been a hidden pillar in the promotion and application of good government.

Would you like to learn more about the public procurement profession?

Maybe have a conversation around the industry or speak to someone within it?

We at NASPO would love to hear from you! In fact, through our partnership with NC State’s Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) at Poole College of Management, there are opportunities around every corner to get involved in the profession of public procurement.

Contact NASPO’s Academic Affairs Manager, Dan Kruger at dkruger@naspo.org for more information on the opportunities available to you!

Click here to learn about NASPO’s student membership opportunity! 

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