As a result of a 1999 partnership agreement between the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. (NIGP), and Florida Atlantic University's College for Design and Social Inquiry, the Public Procurement Research Center was created to assist the public procurement profession by providing applied research, training, education and scholarly publication. Moreover, the PPRC's purpose is to build a professional community of scholars and practitioners devoted to improved efficiency, equality and transparency in public procurement.
A “Technology” State of Mind: Developing Strategic Collaborations
Technology implementation in public sector is often characterized by high rates of failure. By some accounts, these rates can be as high as 60%. Given the significant financial implications of the procurement process it is critical that an organization gets it “right” the first time when deciding on a specific technology. As such, a strategic and collaborative decisionmaking process among procurement and information technology departments is not option, but a necessity. Within this context, the relationship between an organization’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) is of particular interest.
As part of their continuous efforts to provide their members with increased levels of useful research, the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) in partnership with the Public Technology Institute (PTI) has recently conducted a survey on the critical questions regarding the working rapport between CPOs and CIOs. The survey was administered by NIGP and PTI through the Public Procurement Research Center (PPRC) at Florida Atlantic University. A total of 377 professionals have responded to a nine questions survey that asked them to evaluate, along several dimensions, the relationship between CPOs and CIOs. Approximately 80% of the respondents identified themselves as being CPOs while 13% as CIOs; the other 7% percent of respondents held other positions. Outside standard multiple choice responses, participants were provided with the opportunity to make comments within the space of several open-ended questions.
A total of 83% of survey participants believed that within the context of their organization the CPO-CIO relationship is either somewhat strategic or strategic. However, a slightly lower percentage (74%) was satisfied with existing relationship. Along similar lines, approximately 73% of participants indicated that the communication between the CPO and CIO in their organization is effective.
IPPC5: Satisfaction Numbers Suggest a Logistic Success for NIGP
Building on their close and long standing relationship, NIGP and Florida Atlantic University have organized this year’s International Public Procurement Conference (IPPC). The conference is the leading event in the field that takes place every two years, and this occasion represented its 5th anniversary. IPPC5 was held on August 17-19 in Seattle, Washington. The city of Seattle validated its designation of a wonderful location by serving as a warm and welcoming host to over 150 professionals, academics, students and NGO representatives, from over 30 countries. The three conference days were filled with numerous insightful presentations, productive discussions and passionate exchanges of ideas.
Inter alia, the conference denoted an organizational landmark for NIGP. Although NIGP has a vast experience with academic events, this represented the first time that it coordinated an international conference of this scale. As the numbers of the post-conference survey have come in, based on the responses of 82 participants, it can be stated with confidence that IPPC5’s organization was a resounding success. On average 93% of participants indicated satisfaction with the U.S. location, conference hotel and facilities; while 94% were satisfied with the conference materials (conference book, conference proceedings and the issues of Journal of Public Procurement). Reaching high levels of satisfaction was extremely important, in particular since for the majority of those responding (63%) indicated this represented their first IPPC conference. An impressive 95% of those who have completed the survey have suggested that they will consider attending the IPPC6, which will be held in Dublin, Ireland in 2014.
Taken together the conference provided a great opportunity for NIGP members to share their knowledge and to become informed on the latest developments in the field. The event made clear that the current realities will inescapably increase the role played by public procurement in governance. Conferences such as IPPC provide the much needed platform for bridging the gap between scholarly research and knowledge derived form practice. The importance of such communication and collaborative efforts cannot be understated. Within this context, NIGP will continue its efforts to provide an increasing number of educational and networking opportunities for its members.
Clifford P. McCue, Ph.D., Director, Public Procurement Research Center
Tel: (954) 236-1352
Alexandru V. Roman
Director of Research, Public Procurement Research Center
For general or technical inquiries please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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