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The official publication of NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement

www.govpro.com

JUNE/JULY 2012

Reach New Heights at

NIGP Forum

2012 in Seattle

A PENTON MEDIA publication


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CONTENTS JUNE/JULY 2012 VOLUME 20, NO. 3

IN DEPTH

23

Forum Preview NIGP FORUM 2012: REACHING NEW HEIGHTS Our preview section covers highlights of the upcoming 67th annual NIGP Forum in Seattle, Aug.18-22

41

Transportation NO FEAR OF COMMITMENT AT ATLANTA PUBLIC SCHOOLS The school district buys transportation fuel a year at a time to get lower pricing but has to accurately project its fuel usage for the year. BY LARRY ANDERSON

44

Best Practices MODERNIZING CHARLESTON’S CLASSROOMS Procurement project for school furniture, fixtures and equipment incorporates sustainable standards, addresses evolving education needs and saves money. BY LARRY ANDERSON

47

Legal Pro UNTYING THE LEGALISTIC STRAIGHTJACKET Courts generally defer to procurement’s decisionmaking processes – if they are documented. BY RICHARD PENNINGTON

PERSPECTIVES 2 Guest Editorial: Embrace public service at Forum. 4 Reader Feedback: Innovation another benefit of design-build.

HOT TOPICS 7 Associations: Fanning the flames of community. 10 NIGP Code: Maryland’s approach to certify small business involvement. 14 Outsourcing: Managing contract risks. 18 Real Estate: Financing structure saves money in New York. 20 Green Purchasing: Back to school. 22 Grounds Maintenance: Minimizing the impact of Tier IV emission rules.

RESOURCES 54 Calendar of Events: Check out upcoming courses.

BACK PAGES 55 Ad Index 56 Fred Marks: Thank your leaders … and be one.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Free subscriptions to Government Procurement (ISSN 1078-0769) are limited to public-sector purchasing professionals. Those qualified may apply by calling 847-763-9670 or visiting http://www.govpro.com. Subscriptions for others are available, subject to publisher’s acceptance, at these rates: U.S. and U.S. possessions, $35/1 year, $45/2 years, $7/single copy; Canada, $40/1 year, $60/2 years, $8/single copy; international, $45/1 year, $70/2 years, $10/single copy. Send subscription payment (by check or credit card) to Penton Media Customer Service, Government Procurement, PO Box 2100, Skokie, IL 60076-7800. For all customer service inquiries, call 847-763-9670; fax to 847-763-9673; e-mail governmentprocurement@halldata.com; or visit: http://www.submag.com/ sub/gp. Buy positive

microfilm or microfiche copies of out-of-print issues from National Archive Publishing Co. (NAPC), 300 N. Zeeb Rd., PO Box 998, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-0998; phone: 734-302-6500 or 800-420-6272, ext. 6578. LIST RENTALS: To rent circulation lists of Government Procurement, contact Merit Direct, 333 Westchester Ave., White Plains, NY 10604; Website: http://www.meritdirect.com/market COPYING: Permission is granted to users registered with the Copyright Clearance Center Inc. (CCC) to photocopy any article (except for those in which separate copyright ownership is indicated on the first page of the article), for a base fee of $1.25 per copy of the article plus 60 cents per page paid directly to CCC, 222 Rosewood Dr., Danvers, MA 01923. (Code No. 1078-0769/07 $1.25 + .60).

REPRINTS: For customized article reprints, contact: Wright’s Media, phone: 877-652-5295; email: penton@wrightsmedia.com PUBLISHED: Government Procurement (ISSN 1078-0769) is published bi-monthly by Penton Media Inc., 9800 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66212-2216. Canadian Post Publications Mail agreement No. 40612608. Canada return address: Bleuchip International, PO Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. Canadian No. R126431964. Copyright© 2012 by Penton Media Inc. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Government Procurement, PO Box 2100, Skokie, IL 60076-7800. Periodicals postage paid at Shawnee Mission, KS, and at additional mailing offices. SALES OFFICES ARE LISTED ON PAGE 4.


PERSPECTIVES [guest column]

Public Servants Doing Public Service E

very day, procurement professionals support their communities by being good stewards of public funds. Just doing the job of procurement supports the community where procurement professionals work every day. Additionally, procurement professionals are giving back to the local community where NIGP Forum is being held simply by attending. Meetings and conventions generate more than $11 billion in state and local tax revenue in the United States, which helps communities thrive and keeps people employed. Here are several additional opportunities for NIGP Forum 2012 attendees to “give back:” Communities in Schools of Seattle (CISS). NIGP is committed to supporting the local communities where Forum is held, and this year is partnering with Communities In Schools of Seattle (CISS). CISS works in public schools to close the achievement gap and bolster graduation rates for students with high dropout risk factors such as low academic achievement and poor attendance. Seattle public schools face a 30 percent dropout rate. For youth of color and low-income youth, the dropout rate is even greater. The average yearly cost of school supplies for a child is more than $60. This burden forces many families to decide between feeding their family and purchasing school supplies. With the help of CISS, this struggle for families is eliminated. Backpack Drive. NIGP will be conducting a backpack drive at Forum in Seattle. Attendees can bring a new backpack and fill it with pencils, erasers, crayons, and paper and help a child in need be prepared for the first day of school. This year’s Forum falls two weeks before the start of school in Seattle – perfect timing. Anyone who cannot bring donations to Forum can take advantage of several office supply stores within walking distance of the Washington State Convention Center. Donations will be accepted at the NIGP Registration Center Saturday, August 18, through Monday, August 20. On Tuesday, August 21, the donation box will be located in the exhibit hall near the Communities In Schools’ booth. Donations will be transported directly after the close of the exhibit hall. Exhibitors can also participate by donating leftover trade show items, gift cards, cash and items included on the schools’ wish lists. Northwest Harvest. The mission of Northwest Harvest is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. Their vision is to have ample nutritious food available to everyone in Washington State. Forum attendees are devoting time on Saturday, August 18 (noon to 4 p.m.) to work in their warehouse to package items for their food banks. Transportation, lunch and a t-shirt are provided to each volunteer. Let’s gather together to show Seattle what our NIGP community is all about. CHERAL JONES is procurement unit manager of Washington state’s Department of Enterprise Services, Contracts and Legal Services, Master Contract and Consulting, Olympia, Wash.; and CARRIE RAWN is director of conferences and meetings for NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement, Herndon, Va.

2 | JUNE/JULY 2012

PENTON MEDIA INC. 6151 Powers Ferry Road NW, Suite 200 Atlanta, GA 30339 Phone: 770-618-0112 FAX: 913-514-3887 http://www.govpro.com EDITORIAL STAFF Bill Wolpin Editorial Director bill.wolpin@penton.com Larry Anderson Editor landerson1976@aim.com Lindsay Isaacs Managing Editor lindsay.isaacs@penton.com Kim Blaski Production Manager kim.blaski@penton.com Joan Roof Audience Marketing Manager joan.roof@penton.com Wes Clark Art Director wesley.clark@penton.com

THE INSTITUTE for PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

151 Spring St. Herndon,VA 20170-5223 Phone: 703-736-8900 Fax: 703-736-2818 Brent Maas Marketing Director bmaas@nigp.org Cathie Patin Communications Editor cpatin@nigp.org EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Debbie Field, CPPO,VCO Virginia Department of General Services Yolanda C. Jones, C.P.M., APP Clark County, Nev. Jay T. McCleary, CPPB City of Red Wing, Minn.


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PERSPECTIVES [discussion] GROUP OFFICERS

Reader feedback >

Gregg Herring Group Publisher gregg.herring@penton.com

INNOVATION ANOTHER BENEFIT OF DESIGN-BUILD

Procurement professionals are key to successful design-build project delivery, and therefore the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) was very pleased to see the article “The Growth and Growing Pains of DesignBuild Construction” [April/May 2012]. DBIA promotes the value of design-build project delivery and teaches the effective integration of design and construction services to ensure success for owners and design and construction practitioners. The article identified many of the advantages of design-build as a delivery method, particularly in the wake of natural or manmade disasters, and in cases where cutting edge or highly complex facilities are needed. Unfortunately, the article failed to note that innovation, as well as time and cost savings, is a hallmark of design-build and that this is one reason design-build is increasingly used for projects like hospitals, communication facilities, and the other “leading edge” project types cited. Procurement professionals play a much more significant role in shaping a project under the design-build method than they do under the traditional method. Design-build is a different way of doing business and the authors repeatedly and correctly noted that procurement officials need to understand Continued on page 55

PROCUREMENT PONDERABLE Here is a response to the last issue’s Procurement Ponderable, which described your dilemma as a senior civilian contracting officer called to join a meeting to discuss the problem of smugglers stopping Coast Guard ships and other watercraft by taking control of the vessels’ onboard operating systems. After hearing from everyone else in the meeting, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) turns to you for a practical solution. What do you say? The following response comes from Steven M. Demel, CPPO, Tacoma School District Purchasing Manager: I recommend that we conduct a two-step source selection by inviting technology companies to propose a practicable solution to this serious strategic problem. Once proposals are received, I suggest a team of our best people evaluate each proposal and identify the ones that appear to be feasible.Then the team should hold separate discussions with each of the companies with a feasible proposal to ensure each company fully understands our requirements, as well as to make any necessary refinements to the requirement. Each of these companies would then be invited to provide a best and final offer.The evaluation team could then choose to award one or more contracts to the companies deemed most likely to succeed. Final selection of a full production contract could be based on delivery and test of working prototypes (“fly before you buy”).

Government Procurement welcomes your feedback. Send letters to: publications@nigp.org or Government Procurement, 6151 Powers Ferry Road NW, Suite 200, Atlanta GA 30339, Attn.: Bill Wolpin. We reserve the right to edit all letters for clarity, brevity, grammar, punctuation, syntax and style.

4 | JUNE/JULY 2012

Susie Barroso Group Marketing Director susie.barroso@penton.com Joanne Romanek Online Advertising Specialist joanne.romanek@penton.com

ADVERTISING SALES Dave Gibson Northeast Region Sales dave.gibson@penton.com Phone: 216-931-9469 NY, NC, NJ, OH, MA, CT, Washington DC,VA, MD,VT, DE, ME, NH, RI, Canada (Eastern), SC, GA Bill Perry Midwest Region Sales bill.perry@penton.com Phone: 770-618-0453 IL,WI, PA, MN, WV, AK, TN, MS, AL, FL Ron Corey Midwest Region Sales ronald.corey@penton.com Phone: 248-608-0994 MI, MO, IA, KY, IN, ND, SD, AR, LA, TX, OK Julie Fincher Western Region Sales julie.fincher@penton.com Phone: 913-981-6139 CA, KS, CO, AZ, UT, NE, OR, WA, NV, MT, HI, ID, NM, WY, Canada (Western)

CORPORATE OFFICERS David Kieselstein Chief Executive Officer david.kieselstein@penton.com Nicola Allais Chief Financial Officer Executive Vice President nicola.allais@penton.com Bob MacArthur Senior Vice President bob.macarthur@penton.com


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PERSPECTIVES [guest column]

Fanning the flames of community SHARED CHALLENGES DEFINE COMMON GOALS AND IGNITE A SPIRIT OF UNITY AND MUTUAL ENCOURAGEMENT By Brent Maas

T

he Waldo Canyon, Colo., fire that began on June 23 and blazed for nearly two weeks has been declared the most destructive fire in the state’s history. In that time, the fire claimed two lives, displaced 32,000 people, burned over 18,000 acres and 350 homes, and caused $110 million in property damage. As the largest of the ten major fires in the state, it drew the attention of the national media and a presidential visit. Perhaps more personally valuable to those devastated by the fire was the help from strangers across the region and the state who contributed to a grass-roots relief fund that quickly grew to more than $420,000. Others came to Waldo Canyon to cheer on and recognize the sacrificing efforts of the 1,000 emergency responders who came from 34 states to join the containment effort. As members of a professional community immediately involved in emergency preparedness and response, we don’t need to look far before we identify an immediate friend or friend-of-a-friend who knows — or

Associations’ intrinsic value is their ability to provide the means to sustain meaningful relationships. is — a victim of the Waldo Canyon fire. So it may not be a surprise that our own Rocky Mountain Governmental Purchasing Chapter of NIGP would undertake a fundraising campaign on behalf of the American Red Cross to support those impacted by the Colorado wildfires. RMGPA’s efforts bring to life the fundamental nature and value of professional associations: support of community. At a time when the association industry is concerned about changing demographics and the impact of social media and virtual organizations on the traditional association-membership model, the value of association — of longstanding relationships and access to personal networks — is immediately apparent during times of need. Still, it begs the question about the value of association membership in normal day-to-day challenges. Our culture formed on principles of independence and individualism, and today’s technology-powered self-sufficiency has no doubt eroded the requirement for lasting personal networks to gain access to privileged information. Compounding that, marketers have unintentionally done associations a disservice by hi-jacking the meaning of the word membership. Our understanding of what it means to be a member is undermined by never-ending retailer enticements of discounts and “special opportunities” to become a “member” of their frequent buyer���s club. Frequent buyer

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PERSPECTIVES [guest column] clubs are in fact affinity programs, which mean they offer discounts and “reward benefits” so that you’ll like them and spend more money with them versus with a competitor. The impact of these ongoing enticements is that our experience of membership is defined through short-lived oneoff transactions rather than sustained shared experiences with peers. Associations often offer members discounts for products and services, but their intrinsic value is their ability to provide the means to sustain

meaningful relationships. Associations may employ technology to help improve members’ ability to communicate and maintain access to information and stay connected across distances, but the ultimate association member experience is founded on the community gatherings we know as chapter meetings, regional conferences and Forum. Ask a member why they go to chapter meetings or national conferences and you will hear answers like, “It’s where I go to get connected;” “Being with 1,000 other professionals who ‘get it’— it’s how I get my professional batteries recharged;” “I always learn something new;” or “I get re-energized when I talk with members from different parts of the country and find out we have the same challenges.” If you haven’t been to Forum before, or even if you have, take a close look at the Forum Preview section in this issue of Government Procurement. NIGP’s upcoming annual event in Seattle features over 70 workshops across four days, our largest exhibitor roster to-date and a compelling slate of professional speakers. Whether recovering from a Waldo Canyon fire or overcoming mundane day-to-day operational fires, the value of membership comes through in the ready support available from member peers and the professional bonds made at chapter and national events. You’ll find that for every fire you put out with the assistance of your association colleagues, you’re stoking your professional fire and fanning the flames of our professional community. BRENT MAAS is the marketing director for NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement. If you would like to support RMGPA’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the Red Cross to benefit victims of the Colorado wildfires, visit www.rmgpa.org. Donations are being accepted through July 27.

8 | JUNE/JULY 2012


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HOTTOPICS [NIGP code]

Fuel Small Business – Fuel the Economy MARYLAND’S SIMPLE APPROACH TO CERTIFY AND MANAGE SMALL BUSINESS INVOLVEMENT By Brittany Devine

new automated engine qualifies and certifies vendors as small business participants within the eMaryland Marketplace during on-line vendor registration. In addition, all Maryland vendors now register with the NIGP commodity code, which helps the state understand which vendors supply what goods and services. With the SBE, Maryland not only certifies small businesses but can now also use the NIGP Code to report on the specific goods and services that are provided by small business vendors. Maryland’s eMarketplace provides a one-stop-shop for vendor registration, small business certification, solicitation management and contract management. The state expects to revive small business involvement through its consolidated paperless vendor qualifying system.

S

mall businesses are the driving force behind a strong U.S. economy. More than 60 to 80 percent of all new jobs come from small businesses. According to Jim Clifton, author of The Coming Jobs War, there were about 6 million businesses in the United States with at least one employee, as of 2007. Businesses with 500 or fewer employees represent more than 99 percent of these 6 million. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not jumbo corporations that run and dominate the economy, but small and mid-sized companies. Political officials across the country are putting the full-court press on procurement organizations to level vendor playing fields and encourage small to mid-size company growth. Vendors, regardless of size, should have an equal opportunity to supply goods and services to the public sector. Economic development offices are implementing new initiatives and calling for legislation to stimulate small business growth. State and local governments are issuing “set-aside” procurement opportunities for small business. The State of Maryland understands the impact its economic engine has on small business and revamped their eMaryland Marketplace to improve the landscape for these businesses to compete. Maryland worked with Periscope Holdings to deploy BuySpeed’s new Small Business Engine (SBE). The

10 | JUNE/JULY 2012

Maryland’s eMarketplace provides a one-stop-shop for vendor registration, small business certification, solicitation management and contract management. “Maryland has opened a new door into small business involvement,” said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. “This new tool helps the state accomplish our economic development strategy to generate, grow and sustain the state’s economy from within.” Maryland went live with SBE functionality on February 20, 2012, and already has more than 4,500 small businesses registered in the eMaryland Marketplace. Small business opportunities have increased two-fold. Since go-live, an average of 246 new small businesses have enrolled weekly. Forty-six percent of all vendors now registered in eMaryland Marketplace are qualified small businesses. Maryland’s BuySpeed Small Business Engine, allows the state to:


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HOTTOPICS [NIGP code] > Set configurable vendor qualifying questions > Certify small business within the system, thus eliminating paper affidavits and certificates > Identify small business vendors and extend invitations to participate in set-aside procurements > Track contracts awarded to small businesses > Monitor small business involvement goals > Send renewal notifications to vendors > Report expired and renewed small business vendors Small businesses are not the only classification that can benefit from the small business engine module. The flexible nature of the rules-based engine can be used to promote local, minority, women and veteran-owned businesses. “Political officials nationwide are instituting programs to stimulate categorical business participation; however, most governments lack a way to manage new policies,” said Brian Utley, President and CEO, Periscope Holdings, Inc. “We’re pleased to have successfully worked with Maryland to level their vendor playing field with BuySpeed’s one-stop-shop for vendor registration, solicitation management, contract/ catalog management and small business certification.” When small businesses grow, the government tax base grows. When small businesses shrink, the government tax base shrinks, slashing entitlements and government programs. Small businesses are looking for every opportunity to prosper. Today’s economic headwinds have small, medium and large businesses fiercely competing for public sector contracts. Small business initiatives are great in theory; however, historically someone had to certify, track and monitor participation. Ultimately, that responsibility has fallen on procurement, and the concern over how to manage new initiatives becomes a reality. Who qualifies as a small business? How am I going to verify small business compliance? How do I track awards? The common response: I don’t have available personnel to oversee small business involvement. Typically, procurement organizations have manually certified small businesses through paper affidavits and notarized documents. This tedious task was either outsourced or most commonly neglected leaving small businesses overlooked in favor of their large counterparts. In addition, most procurement systems are not integrated with vendor pools or solicitation processes, so categorical “set-asides” are difficult to execute. In the end, opportunities to spur small business growth are diminished because organizations lack an efficient way to manage small business involvement. Success of Maryland’s enhanced marketplace demonstrates how strengthening small business vendor outreach can open bid opportunities in which it has previously been difficult for small businesses to compete. BRITTANY DEVINE oversees product marketing for Periscope Holdings, Inc. Contact her at bdevine@periscopeholdings.com.


     

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HOTTOPICS [outsourcing]

MANAGING CONTRACT RISKS IN OUTSOURCING AGREEMENTS By Kenneth Hayslette

M

anaging risks in regular governmental contracts is a challenge. Identifying the contract risks, trying to develop a practical plan to prevent or preclude them from occurring, and then trying to mitigate the impact if an identified risk occurs are significant challenges in “regular” contracts. Outsourcing contracts have all of the “regular” risks associated with any contract – technical, financial, schedule, and hazards – but each also has its own special set of risks. An outsourcing agreement is a situation in which the government decides to contract with an outside provider to perform services that had previously been provided by government employees. Of course, the risk of performance failure is very significant in an outsourcing agreement. If the contractor does not perform the services for the government’s citizens, clients and/or constituents, then the government has failed in its duties. Sometimes failure in performance can be life-threatening. Think

Because the outsourcing contractor is a representative of the government, any breach or apparent breach of ethical standards will be magnified and reflected back on the government. about the impact of performance failure in ambulance services, fire services, or other health and safety services. If these services are not performed properly and in a timely manner, people can die. Other services, such as managing the issuance of automotive tags or other “administrative” government, are not lifethreatening; however, the impact of nonperformance on the taxpayers and constituents can be severe. If an outsourcing contractor embezzles only a few

14 | JUNE/JULY 2012

thousand dollars, what is the impact of that lost money to the fiscal health of the government? Look at what has happened to some of the governments around the nation and their financial situations. Another special risk issue in outsourcing contracts is ethical standards, which all government contractors have a duty to maintain. Because the outsourcing contractor is a representative of the government, any breach or apparent breach of ethical standards will be magnified and reflected back on the government. The question is: How do we, as public procurement professionals, analyze and develop a risk management plan to preclude any ethical, moral or integrity breaches? Can we write ethical standards into the contract document? Even if these standards are in the contract document, how do we monitor and enforce them? And, if there is an ethical breach in the performance of the contract, what can we do to mitigate its impact on future performance of the contract and upon the reputation of the government? As a part of the performance risk, the contractor’s fiscal health is more important in an outsourcing agreement than in a regular contract. In a regular contract we usually have the opportunity to go to another contractor to buy replacement performance. In an outsourcing agreement, while that option may be still available, it is much more difficult and expensive to buy replacement performance when all of our proverbial eggs are in the contractor’s basket. The importance of the contract administration/ monitoring function in an outsourcing agreement is even more significant than in a regular service contract. Unfortunately, many governments have outsourced performance of governmental work to private contractors and have not maintained adequate staff to administer the contract once it’s been awarded. Some government leaders think that outsourcing is a tool to reduce the number of government employees. This is true; however, the government must maintain adequate contract administration staff with the needed knowledge, skills, and resources to properly monitor and manage the contract, and especially to address the key risks that have been identified in the


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HOTTOPICS [outsourcing] outsourcing risk management plan. Otherwise, the opportunity for contract failure is greatly increased and therefore the citizens will be dis-serviced. There’s no simple answer or a single matrix to plug in information and come up with the ideal risk management plan. Every outsourcing agreement is unique. However, there is a magic formula that you can use to assist you in managing the risks in an outsourcing contract. Before you start crafting your RFP, follow the following steps. > Consider that Murphy was an optimist! > Think about everything that could go wrong in the ensuing contract. Write them all down. > Identify and rank the top 25 potential failures from your list that would impact the success of the contract -- and the success of the government in performing its services for its citizens. > Think about and write out the risk factors for each of the first 25 potential failures. > For each risk factor identified, answer the following: > What is the key causative agent for the risk factor? > What would trigger the risk factor? > How can we prevent it? > How can we mitigate the impacts if it occurs? > How can we ensure that if something goes wrong that it has the least amount of impact on the government and its citizens and constituents? Now take these ideas and develop your risk management plan. Include all of the items from your plan in the performance requirements of the Statement / Scope of Work for your Request for Proposals (RFP). As part of the RFP, ask the potential proposers to provide their analysis of the potential contract risks and how would they go about precluding the risk, or mitigating the impacts if the risk factor becomes reality. The last and most difficult part – proactively manage the risks! If outsourcing contracts were easy, then there would be no need for procurement professionals. Contractual risk management is a challenging concept, but the challenges can be overcome so that all parties are successful regardless of what occurs. EDITOR’S NOTE: The author, KENNETH HAYSLETTE, CPPO, C.P.M., CPCM, Alexandria, Va., will be conducting the workshop “Contractual Risk Management in Outsourcing Agreements” at NIGP Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 22, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

16 | JUNE/JULY 2012


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HOTTOPICS [real estate]

FINANCING STRUCTURE PROVIDES SAVINGS FOR NEW YORK CITY AGENCY CONSOLIDATION By Richard L. Podos

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n innovation in the funding for large-scale tenant improvements, paid for by financing a portion of the rent, has enabled the Human Resources Administration (HRA) of New York City to save significant dollars and complete a complex transaction for a 400,000-square-foot facility in downtown Brooklyn. HRA is the primary Health and Human Services agency and delivery vehicle in New York. The project, which included more than $100 million in construction work for renovations, demonstrates how municipalities, in the face of unprecedented budget stringency, can economically and efficiently complete large, complex transactions that might not otherwise get done without a large capital outlay to build out the office space. The time is past when government agencies could afford to leave money on the table that is available to fund their operations. HRA was consolidating three locations into one and downsizing from approximately 600,000 square feet of office space to reduce budget spend. In searching for a new location, New York City identified a former manufacturing building being converted to office space. The nature of the renovations at the location, however, required significant construction work to create an appropriate office environment. The deal was not able to close until Lance Capital, The nature of the renovations at 470 Vanderbilt Avenue in downtown Brooklyn required significant construction work to create an appropriate office environment.

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in a unique approach, arranged a non-recourse $44 million tenant improvements loan for the building owner, provided by CGA Capital Corp. The loan was backed not by the property or other forms of traditional equity, but by a portion of the rent payable by HRA under the lease. Bonds tied to the rental stream and loan were privately placed with institutional investors. Those bonds, which fully amortize over seven years, are unrated, but implicitly benefit from the double-A rating of New York City, resulting in a loan rate just over 4 percent, much less expensive than traditional real estate financing. The resulting savings were then passed on to HRA in a lower rental rate, and further, the rent is an allowable administrative expense for federal and state reimbursement purposes. Tenants typically receive a tenant improvements contribution from the landlord to perform buildout and renovations, and the tenant provides capital for the balance – often 50 percent or more – from their own budget. In this case, HRA did not want to make a large up-front expenditure and preferred that GFI Development, the building owner, take the loan exposure for the full tenant improvements budget, perform the build-out and provide a turnkey solution. Most importantly for NYC and HRA, by funding the entire tenant improvements budget for the leased space through the landlord, what would otherwise have been capital improvements expenditures were converted to rent and thus administrative expense, allowable as an indirect cost for reimbursement under federal and state guidelines. The leasing transaction structure was reviewed and approved by New York City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Office of Management and Budget, and Corporation Counsel. All funding for the tenant improvements budget under the Lance Capital structure was deposited into escrow at the lease closing, to be controlled by the landlord during construction but under


New York City’s oversight as tenant. By having the landlord, GFI Development, assume all ownership, funding, and construction responsibility for the tenant improvements budget, New York City was able to avoid a tedious procurement RFP process and also to save the interest expense to be incurred if New York City had financed the build-out itself. While the additional cost of tenant improvements funding was extremely favorable compared to typical landlord financing options, the added and key benefit to the transaction was the fact that the rent assigned to secure and cover the tenant improvements funding is approximately 70 percent reimbursable to New York City via federal and state reimbursement programs. Standards for determining costs for Federal awards carried out through grants, cost reimbursement contracts, and other agreements with State and local governments are available in 2 CFR Part 225, “Cost Principles for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments (OMB Circular A–87)”. The Lance Capital lease-based tenant improvements funding structure is widely applicable for all state and local governments, in terms of both a low-cost approach to amortizing build-out and renovation

costs into rent, and even more importantly converting capital expenditures into reimbursable administrative expense. Lance Capital is currently focused on tenant improvements funding as an invaluable tool for state and local government nationwide, initially for Health and Human Services-related reimbursable activity, such as Medicaid, CHIP, WIC, TANF, etc., but also other opportunities for federal reimbursement relating to Sustainability, Education, Transportation, Homeland Security, etc. Executive offices, OMB, administrative and real estate departments, etc., should all be focused on this opportunity: Avoid using budget for tenant improvements capital expenditures, but where possible “rentalize” into reimbursable administrative expense. RICHARD PODOS is the founder, CEO and President of Lance Capital LLC, a specialty corporate real estate and finance company.

B BUILT UILT TOUGH TOUGH FOR LIFE LIFE ON ON FOR TH HE S T R E E T S. THE STREETS.

While the LSV 800 is street legal on most public roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less, this isn’t just a joy ride. A 48-volt zero-emissions electric drivetrain, advanced hydraulic disc braking system and 5.9-cubic-foot cargo bed means this new crew member can hold its own on the job. Visit Cushman.com/streetlegal to watch the LSV 800 in action and find an authorized Cushman® low speed vehicle dealer.

© 2012 Textron Inc. All rights reserved.

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HOTTOPICS [green purchasing]

BACK TO SCHOOL: BUYING GREENER FOR THE CLASSROOM By Scot Case

S

tudents learn better in greener schools – schools with improved indoor air quality, natural light and better materials that save taxpayer money because of lower building operating costs. While budgetary limitations make it impossible for everyone to build new, greener schools, government purchasers can make it easier for all schools to buy greener products that help improve school operations and student performance. GREENER PRODUCTS AND BETTER STUDENT PERFORMANCE Many products purchased for use in schools, including cleaning products, furniture, computer equipment and other electronics, have potentially adverse impacts on indoor air quality. These products release chemicals into the air that pollute school environments. While product-related chemical emissions also affect adults, children’s rapidly growing bodies are particularly susceptible to chemical exposure-related ailments. Their respiratory, immune and nervous systems are still developing and children breathe in a greater amount of air more rapidly than adults do. Because they have a faster metabolism, they also absorb and process these chemicals more rapidly. Finally, children – who are much shorter than adults – are naturally closer to the floor, where airborne molecules tend to suspend for extended periods of time; this increases the potential for chemical exposure, too. Given the same amount of chemical exposure, the physical burden on a child is far greater than the burden on an adult. Among the most common chemical emissions are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs include known carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and benzene. Research has shown that children who are exposed to VOCs are up to four times more likely to develop asthma – the fastest-growing incurable, chronic childhood disease – compared to children who are not exposed. And, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, asthma is responsible for more than 14 million missed school days each year. Poor indoor air quality is also linked with other short- and long-term illnesses, such as headaches, dizziness and nausea.

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According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), schools with better indoor air quality produce higher student test scores, improved academic performance and increased productivity. Children simply learn better in healthier environments. BUYING GREENER SCHOOL PRODUCTS Many products commonly used in schools can emit potentially toxic chemicals, including VOCs. Although paint, coatings, sealants and adhesives are the products most often associated with VOCs, there are hundreds of other common indoor products that also emit these compounds. Among them are furniture (like desks, tables and chairs), bookshelves, personal computers, flooring, cabinetry, drywall, insulation, doors, window treatments and cleaning/janitorial products. Luckily for those concerned about student health, there are several product categories for which it is quite easy to specify safer, greener alternatives: Paints. Specify paints meeting either the UL Environment (cross listed with EcoLogo CCD-048), Green Seal GS-11, or GREENGUARD Children and Schools standards. Both the UL Environment and Green Seal standards focus on multiple environmental issues, while the GREENGUARD standard focuses exclusively on protecting indoor air quality. Cleaning Products. Specify cleaning products meeting either the UL Environment (cross listed with EcoLogo CCD-146 or CCD-147), Green Seal GS-37 or GS-40, or GREENGUARD Children and Schools standards. Both the UL Environment and Green Seal standards focus on multiple environmental issues, while the GREENGUARD standard focuses exclusively on protecting indoor air quality. Computers and Office Electronics. Specify computers meeting the IEEE 1680 standard, preferably those that have been independently certified as meeting the standard. The IEEE 1680 standard for computers addresses indoor air quality, although as a point-based standard it is possible for products to score highly without fully addressing indoor air quality concerns. The GREENGUARD Children and Schools standard identifies products that meet strict indoor air quality concerns, including computers and other office electronic products. The UL Environment standard (cross listed with EcoLogo CCD-035) addresses multiple additional environmental criteria for office electronic products, including printers and copiers. Furniture. For furniture, specify products certified as compliant with the ANSI/BIFMA e3 Furniture Sustainability Standard at level 1 or higher. The ANSI/BIFMA standard addresses a variety of environmental issues, including indoor air quality.


HOTTOPICS [best practices] The GREENGUARD Children and Schools standard focuses exclusively on indoor air quality issues and, as a result, has more stringent human health requirements. MEASURING INDOOR AIR QUALITY Popular green building programs, such as the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and LEED for Schools, highlight the importance of good indoor air quality. They require that building products meet certain chemical emissions requirements, but they are not as protective as some suggest is needed. Many of the product emissions requirements are based on California’s 01350 Specification (CA 01350), which aims to address indoor air quality performance of building materials. According to Mark Rossolo, Director of Public Affairs for UL Environment and the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, “California 01350 is certainly a good start, but schools should take a more comprehensive look because out of tens of thousands of VOCs in commerce today, CA 01350 imposes emission limits on only 35 or so.” There is also debate about how VOCs are measured and assessed for their health impacts. Many products labeled “low VOC” or “no VOC,” such as paints, have earned that distinction based solely on their VOC weight or content – a factor used to assess whether the product will react with sunlight to produce groundlevel ozone – and not based their VOC emissions. “This is problematic for two reasons,” says Rossolo. “First, not all VOCs react with sunlight to produce ground-level ozone, so ‘low VOC’ or ‘no VOC’ products can still off-gas potentially toxic chemicals into the indoor environment; and second, ground-level ozone is an outdoor environmental issue, not an indoor one.” To identify products most protective of indoor air quality, Rossolo and others suggest looking for products that have been GREENGUARD certified. A list of GREENGUARD certified products is available on the GREENGUARD website at www.greenguard.org. IT’S EASY TO BUY GREEN Government purchasers have the ability to protect the health of the 53 million students and 5 million school staff members learning or working in U.S. schools. Human health and environmental standards make it easy to identify the healthier, greener products. SCOT CASE has been researching and promoting responsible purchasing for 17 years. He is market development director for UL Environment. Contact him via e-mail at scot.case@ulenvironment. com or in Reading, PA, at 610-779-3770.

NEW PROCESS HELPS INNOCENT SPIKE STRIP VICTIMS O

n April 19, 2012, Neal Johnson was traveling west on I-84 near Hood River, Ore., when, in quick succession, two State Police cars flew past. Johnson saw a commotion up ahead. “When I got closer, I could see one of the policemen pulling something off the road with a rope” she said. Both lanes ahead were blocked. She came to a halt and, after waiting several minutes, a State trooper approached and told her she had two flat tires. What Johnson had seen the trooper pull from the road turned out to be a spike strip. The tire deflation device was thrown across a lane of traffic to stop a car that was leading the police on a high-speed chase. Johnson also ran over the strip and punctured both tires on the passenger side of her four-wheel-drive SUV. Thanks to a new agreement between State of Oregon and Les Schwab Tire Centers, getting Johnson’s tires fixed was easy. The trooper called Les Schwab, dialing a number printed on a “Spike Strip Damage Solution” card all troopers now have in their patrol cars. Les Schwab towed Johnson’s vehicle to the nearest shop in Hood River and outfitted Johnson’s SUV with four new tires. She was on her way within an hour with no money out of pocket. She was entitled to pro-rated reimbursement for the punctured tires and got credit for the other two nearly-new tires on her SUV, so the tire swap came out even. Behind the scenes, Les Schwab sent a bill for reimbursement to the State of Oregon Risk Management department. In the past, Johnson’s experience would have been much different. Getting the tires fixed would have been her problem. Once that was done, she would need to figure out how to submit a claim to State of Oregon Risk Management. After two or three weeks, Risk would evaluate the claim and send her a settlement check. While these incidents typically happen only about once a year, this was a frustrating situation for the both the officers and the motorists involved. The State Police began using the Stop Stick brand of tire deflation devices in 1996. The strips use hollow quills that penetrate the tire and act as valves, releasing air at a safe, controlled rate. This article was submitted by GREG HOPKINS of the Oregon State Procurement Office.

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HOTTOPICS [grounds maintenance]

2013 Ushers In Tier IV SOME STRATEGIES TO MINIMIZE THE IMPACT OF NEW EMISSION RULES By Grant Young

I

n 1999, the Environmental Protection Agency began implementing new emission requirements for off-road diesel engines between 25 and 74 hp. The changes since then have occurred in stepped “tiers” and, while perhaps not noticeable to endconsumers, have become progressively more stringent. The final stage of the regulation – Tier IV, effective Jan. 1, 2013 – represents the most drastic change to date, and will certainly be noticeable to everyone in the turf and grounds maintenance industry. The final implementation of Tier IV will target a 90 percent reduction of PM (particulate matter) and 60 percent reduction in NOx (nitrogen oxides) from the previous tier. It’s important to note that other categories of diesel engines have already gone through compliance (examples: over-the-road trucks and high horsepower tractors). Because of this, some of the technologies developed to meet compliance in those classifications of engines will likely be used as the basis for meeting the standards in turf equipment. These technologies include high-pressure fuel injection systems and various forms of exhaust after-treatment. Meeting the compliance standards in turf equipment will likely require the use of one of these technologies, or perhaps a combination of them. Although it may go without saying, these technologies will be accompanied by more sophisticated controllers and electronics packages, as well as likely changes to the cooling and other mechanical systems. As you can imagine, both engine and equipment manufacturers are investing significant resources to redesign the affected products. But what does it mean? The implementation of Tier IV will affect everyone in the turf industry in the next two years. Primarily, after January 1, 2013, diesel-powered turf equipment that meets the Tier IV emissions standards can expect a price increase of at least 10 to 20 percent, no matter what brand make or model you choose. The most telling support for this projection is to look at products in other industries that have gone through compliance and compare the pricing pre- and post-compliance. Additionally, the change in technology will likely be accompanied by more

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sophisticated service and maintenance procedures. The good news, in addition to cleaner air for our environment, is that there are options, but you have to act now. Putting a proactive acquisition plan together now could save your organization significant dollars in the coming years. Let’s look at some strategies to consider: If you are planning to purchase any products in the 25-74 hp range in 2013 (this may include mowers, utility vehicles, cultivation equipment, sprayers, blowers etc.), you may want to consider moving that purchase up to 2012 and avoid the impending price increase. Similarly, you may want to flip-flop your existing schedule - move affected products into 2012 and delayed unaffected products to 2013. For example, if you’re planning to buy a 35 hp large area rotary mower in 2013 and some smaller zero turn riders under 25 hp in 2012, it may make sense to flip-flop the order of these purchases. With budgets being limited these days, another source of equipment could be the pre-owned equipment arena. Finally, explore the possibilities of alternative energy solutions other than diesel (gas, hybrid, other). While the feasibility and economics of these solutions at higher horsepowers remain to be seen, the new standard on diesel equipment could invigorate development of these technologies. The other good news is that your existing fleet of equipment is grandfathered in to the new regulations. You will not be required to retrofit any equipment purchased prior to the implementation date of January 1, 2013. Now is the time to act on this information. Making Tier 4 and its ramifications known at all levels of your organization will not only help you make the best equipment decisions to meet your needs, it will also help you be the best economic steward for your budgeted money in 2012, 2013, and beyond! GRANT YOUNG is director of marketing, commercial equipment at The Toro Company, South Bloomington, Minn.


Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Seattle, Wash., August 18-22

NIGP Forum 2012:

Reaching New Heights FORUM HIGHLIGHTS

ore than 800 public procurement professionals from federal, provincial, state and local government agencies in the United States and Canada will converge in Seattle for the 67th Annual Forum and Products Exposition hosted by NIGP: The Institute of Public Procurement. Built around the theme “Reaching New Heights,” the meeting will provide opportunities to network with colleagues and learn from industry leaders and professional speakers. NIGP’s Forum provides knowledge to empower procurement professionals to meet the public’s expectations with reduced staff and budgets. Four days of intensive professional training, networking activities, product exhibits and knowledge sharing will equip procurement professionals to make a difference through decisive, effective purchasing programs. Content-rich workshops and knowledge exchanged at Forum enable attendees to return home strengthened by new ideas and improved professional skills.

M

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS Joel Cherkis, General Manager, Government and Security Microsoft Corp. Worldwide Public Sector Opening Keynote Speaker High Performance Government: The Next Generation of Computing Sunday, August 19, 8 – 10 a.m.

> Harnessing an extensive background in technology, Joel Cherkis leads a team of sales and technology professionals who provide global strategic support to government customers by delivering solutions focused on providing citizen-based services and enabling government workplace and data center modernization. Cherkis says governments at all levels are fundamentally rethinking how they serve their citizens. More entities are making commitments to change the lack of transparency and accountability in their agencies and to transform the way they operate and interact with citizens. Central to this mission are the core goals of dramatically increasing the openness and transparency of government,

Saturday, August 18 Host Committee Social Event: Tilicum Village: An Argosy Adventure (5 – 11 p.m.) Sunday, August 19 Opening Keynote Speaker Joel Cherkis, General Manager, Government and Security, Microsoft Corp. Worldwide Public Sector (8 – 10 a.m.) Monday, August 20 Products Exposition (1 – 5 p.m.) Awards Gala (6:30 – 9:30 pm..) Tuesday, August 21 Products Exposition (9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) Wednesday, August 22 Closing General Session Robyn Bebincasa (3:15 – 4:45 p.m.)

while also creating new efficiencies and innovative ways to engage citizens. Vernice “Fly Girl” Armour Who Needs a Runway? How to Take Off From Where You Are and Go From Zero to Breakthrough Monday, August 20, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. > Known simply as “Fly Girl,” Vernice Armour went from beat cop to combat

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NIGP FORUM 2012 pilot in three years. Within a year, she found herself flying over the deserts of Iraq supporting the men and women on the ground. She served two tours overseas, becoming America’s first African-American female combat pilot. After returning home from combat, she used her experiences to create a seven-step process called the Zero to Breakthrough Success Plan. She now travels extensively to share this message through her keynotes, coaching and seminars. Her passion is helping organizations and individuals create similar results. Presented by the NIGP National Business Council. Mark Scharenbroich, CSP, CPAE Nice Bike: Making Meaningful Connections on the Road of Life Tuesday, August 21, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. > Mark Scharenbroich uses an unconventional approach that includes knockout humor and personal stories with universal appeal. His session focuses on the relationship side of creating results by connecting people to people management to front line, team member to team member, and company to customer. Scharenbroich has built his speaking career working in both business and education, discovering how some of the best organizations and leaders create a culture that encourages people to perform at a higher level. His messages improve employee engagement, help people to embrace change, enhance team collaboration, fuel the passion to serve others and create meaningful connections. Scharenbroich’s Nice Bike principle and newly released book by the same name are driven by two powerful words and three powerful actions that make a difference in the lives of others: Acknowledge, Honor, Connect. Wednesday, August 22, 8:30 – 10 a.m. > How Do You Apply the Public

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Procurement Values and Guiding Principles in Your Professional Life? During this plenary session, speakers who help you apply these values into your every day life. The plenary session provides a brief look into these topics and each speaker presents a more detailed “deep dive” workshop immediately following the plenary. David Rabiner, CSP Topic: Obstacles to Leadership > Excellence in leadership isn’t just about generating leadership qualities and checking them off one at a time. Understanding the obstacles to demonstrating those qualities – the challenges to overcoming those obstacles – is critical for anyone attempting to evolve as a leader. In this opening presentation, international speaker David Rabiner defines leadership from a practical perspective -- from a perspective of influence -- and gives you the incentive to dedicate yourself to enhancing your own leadership. He sets the stage for the process of developing your own leadership plan, which includes overcoming the obstacles to peak performance in leadership. David Rabiner, CSP, is one of the more established and experienced public speakers in the United States. Since 1993, he has been averaging approximately 100 presentations each year. Overall, Rabiner has presented to more than 1,900 groups in 45 states and 12 countries. Ed Brodow Topic: Negotiating in Turbulent Times > In the typical negotiation, both sides treat each other as the “enemy.” This is counterproductive and can lead to problems and misunderstandings. In this eye-opening session by the bestselling author of Negotiation Boot Camp, attendees learn a series of innovative techniques for creating an atmosphere of fairness and trust with suppliers and

stakeholders without sacrificing the need to achieve specific objectives. Emphasis is on developing “negotiation consciousness,” the value of listening as a negotiation tool, adhering to ethical problem-solving, dealing with supplier tactics, and Ed Brodow’s Three Rules for Win-Win Negotiating. Ed Brodow is the world’s top spokesman on the art of negotiation. A nationally recognized television personality, he has appeared as negotiation guru on PBS, ABC News, Fox News, Inside Edition, and Fortune Business Report. Brodow is negotiating consultant to some of the world’s most prominent organizations, including Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, Learjet, Raytheon, Philips, McKinsey, The Gap, Revlon, Zurich Insurance, Mobil Oil, and the Pentagon. Robyn Benincasa Closing Speaker Ordinary People, Extraordinary Result: The 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy Wednesday, August 22, 2:45 – 4:15 p.m. > Robyn Benincasa inspires people to do amazing things. She has made an art form of extreme performance by competing and winning at the highest levels of sport and business. Benincasa has competed in close to 40 expedition-length events - gnarly, multiday, multisport killers such as Primal Quest and Eco-Challenge. She has biked through jungles in Borneo, climbed Himalayan giants in Nepal, trekked across lava fields in Fiji, rafted rapids in Chile – and racked up multiple world championship titles along the way. In her spare time, Benincasa is a full-time firefighter in San Diego, on the nation’s first all-female crew. She also founded the Project Athena Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women who have endured medical setbacks achieve their athletic dreams, whether it means climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or running a local 10K. In her keynote session, Benincasa imparts the attitude and mindset that allows groups of ordinary people to accomplish truly extraordinary things together.


WORKSHOP TOPICS The following is a preview of more than 70 workshops planned for Forum: Avoiding the Front Page of the Newspaper: Why Ethics Matters > Public agency employees are regularly faced with ethical decision making – where do you draw the line on what is acceptable versus unacceptable practices? Evaluating Cooperative Programs > Due diligence is required to identify those contracts that may best align with your specific product or service requirements and local procurement ordinances. Get strategy tips and look at evaluation criteria The Heart of a Good Request for Proposal (RFP) > Learn how to construct an entire RFP in a way that captures the attention of your potential vendors and effectively steers them toward submitting a proposal most responsive to your needs Procurement’s Next Big Challenge – Construction > More procurement professionals are finding themselves in the middle of a construction project. What specific requirements should be in the solicitation document? Get answers and start building your foundation Performance Measurements and Services > A major issue within the shift to best value procurement is monitoring results and mitigating the risk to both parties. Gain an understanding of how performance measurements are created and tracked Procurement Systems and Processes: Choosing an Effective Design > The breadth and speed of technological, social, and cultural change is continually accelerating. Are you keeping up? For a complete workshop schedule, visit www.nipg/org/forum or email customercare@nigp.org.

APG ANNUAL MEETING Airport Purchasing Group (APG) will host its annual conference August 17 – 18 at the Washington State Convention

and Trade Center, Seattle. Separate registration required. View the tentative schedule at www.nigp.org/apgconf

2012 INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC PROCUREMENT CONFERENCE The International Public Procurement Conference (IPPC) is a global network of public procurement practitioners and researchers from more than 100 countries. Its objective is to advance and share knowledge and best practices in public procurement. The biennial conference will be held at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Washington State Convention Center August 17 – 19 in conjunction with the NIGP Annual Forum and Products Exposition. The conference provides networking opportunities with highlevel public procurement practitioners and experts. Participants’ interest in sharing public procurement knowledge benefits government, business, and greater society around the world. These biennial conferences have become a forum where practitioners and researchers (1) share their knowledge, innovation and best practices; and (2) build a network with their international colleagues. The IPPC is the largest international public procurement conference dedicated to academic discourse and practitioner engagement. Thanks to the fertile mixture of practical experiences and academic research, IPPC draws more than 400 academicians and experienced professionals from 59 countries. For 2012, IPPC aims to extend and deepen the topics of major interest that have their roots in the first IPPC event held in 2004. For more information, visit www.nigp.org/ippc5.

PRE-FORUM COURSES Pre-Forum Courses maximize educational potential and earn points toward UPPCC certification and re-certification. (Space is limited). Friday, August 17 – Saturday, August 18 > CPPB Prep: Two-Day Course

Instructor: Jeannie Readey, CPPO, CPPB Contact Hours: 16 UPPCC Re-Certification points: 2 > CPPO Prep: Two-Day Course Instructor: Lynda Allair, CPPO Contact Hours: 16 UPPCC Re-Certification points: 2 > Risk Management in Public Contracting: Two-Day Course Instructor: Myra Smith, CPPB Contact Hours: 16 UPPCC Re-Certification points: 2

INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC PROCUREMENT FOUR-DAY COURSE Sunday, August 19 – Wednesday, August 22 Instructor: Ed Pabor, CPPO, CDT, C.P.M. Contact hours: 24; UPPCC recertification points: 3 > This NIGP foundation course will be offered over four days within the context of the Forum schedule.  Individuals wishing to participate in this course must follow the course schedule and attend every session in order to receive credit. Attendees registering for this course attend each course session in lieu of Forum educational sessions. Registration includes many of the Forum events, including some meal functions. Please review the schedule prior to registering for the course. Separate registration is required.

CHAPTER LEADERSHIP SERIES Sunday, August 19, Noon to 5 p.m. Practicing Effective Leadership Presented by: Jill McCrory and Steve Swafford, Leadership Outfitters, LLC > Using the practical leadership principles in The Leadership Challenge by Barry Kouzes and Jim Posner (Model the Way, Inspire A Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others To Act, and Encourage the Heart), this program explores what effective leadership looks like in the volunteer and work environments. Although targeted for NIGP Chapter Members, this workshop

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NIGP FORUM 2012 series is open to all Forum attendees. For questions about the Chapter Leadership Series, contact Jennifer Steffan at jsteffan@nigp.org.

2012 EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP SERIES WITH DAVID RABINER Tuesday, August 21, Noon to 5 p.m. > Government purchasing officials have been given leadership responsibility because they have demonstrated leadership capabilities and have earned the privilege to serve their organizations. A regular part of the job involves two things: (1) follow the letters of the laws and regulations (2) have positive working relationships with department staff, department heads, and elected officials. Getting departments to want to work with you -- early in the process -- and consider your involvement to be an important element of their success is something peak performing purchasing officials do. This program explores the challenges unique to leadership in government purchasing and builds on your leadership skills. This session has a maximum capacity of 30 participants. Registration is $75 and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Advance registration required.

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NIGP 2012 FORUM EXHIBITORS Visit more than 130 companies with more than 180 exhibit booths in the exhibit hall. Gonzalez Alliance > Haworth Inc. > Acme Auto Leasing > PPG Architectural Coatings > HD Supply > ADT Security Services, Inc. > Premier > Herman Miller, Inc. > AlliedBarton Security Services > Property Room.com > Hertz Equipment Rental > AllSeating > Public Sourcing Solutions > Husky Trucks, LLC > Altec Industries > Redwood Toxicology > Independent Stationers, Inc. Laboratory, Inc. > Applied Industrial > Info Tech Inc. Technologies > Ricoh Americas Corporation > Ion Wave Technologies, Inc. > Association of Educational > Rubbermaid Commercial > Jack Doheny Companies Purchasing Agencies (AEPA) Products > John Deere Company > AT&T Mobility > Safeware-Mallory > Kellogg Brown & Root LLC > Aurora Storage Products > Samson Equipment, Inc. > Keystone Purchasing > Bank of America > School Specialty, Inc. Network > Bell and Howell > SciQuest, Inc. > Kimball Office > BidSync > ServiceWear Apparel > Knoll, Inc. > Bobcat Company > Sharp Electronics > Kompan, Inc. > Bridgestone Americas > Sherwin-Williams Company > KONE Elevators Tire Operations, LLC > SHI International Corp. and Escalators > Brother International > Simplot Partners > Konica Minolta Corporation Printing Solutions > Spikes Cavell > Canon Business Solutions > Language Line Services > Staples Advantage > Car Toys, Inc. > LeasePlan USA > Steelcase, Inc. > Case IH Agriculture > Liquidity Services > Stertil-Koni > Caterpillar > Little Tikes Commercial > Sunbelt Rentals Inc. > Century Products LLC > Lowes Companies > Tech Depot > Cisco Systems, Inc. > Manpower > Teknion > Club Car Inc > McKesson Medical-Surgical > Thatcher Company > Continental Flooring > Metro Office Solutions > The Cooperative Purchasing Company Network (TCPN) > Milliken > CTL > The Gordian Group > Mitel Business Systems, Inc. > CTS LanguageLink > The Hartford > National IPA > Deltek > The Home Depot > National Joint Powers > Dun & Bradstreet Alliance (NJPA) > The Public Group > The Sherwin Williams Co. > National Office Furniture > The Toro Company > Enterprise Holdings E H I > Simplot Partners > Toter, Inc. > ESM Solutions > Neopost > Tremco Inc. > Fastenal Company > Network Services Company > UL (Underwriters > FedBid, Inc. > ChapterManager Laboratories) > Federal Contracts Corp > NIGP > United Rentals > FedEx > Office Depot > UPS > FieldTurf Tarkett > Officemax > U.S. Communities > GameTime > Onvia, Inc. > Virco > Garland/DBS, Inc. > Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly Auto Parts > Waxie > General Services > Otis Elevator Company > Western States Contracting Administration Alliance (WSCA) > Otto Environmental Systems > GOJO Industries > Wright Express > Panasonic Computer > GovConnection Solutions > ZeroChaos > GovDeals > Paoli > Government Sourcing Exhibitors in red are NIGP > PEPPM Solutions Premier & Corporate Sponsors > Periscope Holdings, Inc. > Govini Exhibitor listing as of June > Pitney Bowes > Grainger Industrial Supply 6, 2012. View the complete > PlanetBids, Inc. > Graybar Exhibitor List at www. > Point Nationwide/ > GunLocke nigp.org/exhibitorlist.


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All Cooperatives Are Not the Same

7EREJUSTLIKE 53#OMMUNITIES

7HAT-AKES53#OMMUNITIES$IFFERENT Transparent Procurement Process:

Oversight and Accountability:

(1) The development of the solicitation, evaluation of the responses and award determination are performed by public employees of a political subdivision* that is separate from and independent of the cooperative organization. (Lead Public Agency)

(1) An Advisory Board of over 20 public procurement professionals to ensure processes and methods used are of the highest standards

(2) A National Evaluation Team of public procurement professionals from multiple political subdivisions* participate in the creation, evaluation and award process.

Public Agency Protection & Supplier Contract Compliance: (1) Quarterly performance reviews with supplier executives and the Lead Public Agency to evaluate performance and compliance.

(2) A Supervisory Board of National Public Associations to oversee the cooperative and to ensure the interests of their public agency members are served and protected.

(2) Commitments: Corporate, Pricing, Economy & Sales.

(3) Annual independent third-party supplier audits to ensure contract compliance.

(3) Field Program Managers focused on supporting public agencies and resolving problems or concerns.

(3) All decisions regarding the awarded master agreement, pricing changes etc., are made by the Lead Public Agency NOT the staff of the cooperative. Some questions you may want to ask prior to using a cooperative thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;just like U.S. Communitiesâ&#x20AC;? s 7HATKINDOFINDEPENDENTOVERSIGHTOFTHE s7ERETHESOLICITATION EVALUATIONANDAWARDALL cooperative is in place? performed by employees of a political subdivision that is independent of the cooperative organization? s $OESTHISCONTRACTMEETTHELEGAL requirements of my agency and state? s7ASTHEPROCUREMENTPROCESSSUBSTANTIALLY If in doubt ask your attorney. similar to the process your agency is required to use? *A political subdivision is generally defined in most states as local governments created by the states to help fulfill their obligations. Political subdivisions include counties, cities, towns, villages, and special districts such as school districts, water districts, park districts, and airport districts

Visit uscommunities.org/coopstandards for a due diligence check list


7HATSINA Commitment?

!LLOFTHESEARE MYBESTDEAL

For more than 15 years, U.S. Communities has been a leader in providing public agencies and nonprofits the best value in the procurement of goods and services. In doing so, U.S. Communities has never wavered in putting the public agency participants interests first during the solicitation process. We enforce our four key commitments expected of each supplier which separates U.S. Communities from all other cooperatives. Although some suppliers complain U.S. Communities commitments are â&#x20AC;&#x153;too onerous,â&#x20AC;? we are dedicated to protecting a participating public agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ethical, legal, and financial interests at all times. Corporate Commitment: 4HISENABLES Pricing Commitment:9OUCANHAVE 53#OMMUNITIESTOACCESSTHETOP PEACEOFMINDKNOWINGTHATYOUARE SUPPLIEREXECUTIVESTORESOLVEPROBLEMS ACCESSINGTHESUPPLIERSLOWESTOVERALL ANDIMPROVEPRODUCTS SERVICEAND PRICINGTHATTHEYOFFERTOPUBLIC PRICINGONBEHALFOFOUR AGENCIES9OUWONTFINDOUTLATERTHAT PUBLICAGENCYPARTICIPANTS YOUCOULDHAVEGOTTENABETTERDEALBY GOINGTOBIDORACCESSINGADIFFERENT CONTRACTVEHICLEHELDBYTHATSUPPLIER

Economy Commitment:4HISENSURES THATTHESUPPLIERISWILLINGANDABLETO PROVIDEYOUWITHTHENECESSARYDATA  DOCUMENTATIONANDANALYSESTHATYOU NEEDTOVALIDATEYOURDECISIONTOUTILIZE THEIR53#OMMUNITIESCONTRACT

Some questions you may want to ask prior to using a cooperative thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;just like U.S. Communitiesâ&#x20AC;? s$OESTHECOOPERATIVEMANAGETHESUPPLIERS /RDOTHESUPPLIERSMANAGETHECOOPERATIVE

s(OWDOESTHECOOPERATIVEMANAGE SUPPLIERCOMPLIANCENATIONWIDE

s7HATKINDOFPUBLICAGENCYPROTECTIONSARE REQUIREDOFTHESUPPLIERS

s(OWMANYSTAFFDOESTHE COOPERATIVEHAVE

s(OWMANYSUPPLIERSDOESTHECOOPERATIVE HAVEANDHOWMANYCOOPERATIVESDOESTHE SUPPLIERBELONGTO

s(OWMANYSTAFFPERSUPPLIERDOES THECOOPERATIVEHAVE

Sales Commitment:4HISREQUIRESTHE SUPPLIERSSALESFORCETOBEAWAREOF ANDKNOWLEDGEABLEABOUTTHEIR53 #OMMUNITIESCONTRACT4HISENSURES THATYOUWILLBEABLETOGETTHE INFORMATIONYOUNEEDANDANSWERSTO YOURQUESTIONSFROMYOURLOCALSALES REPRESENTATIVEREGARDINGTHEPRODUCTS  SERVICESPRICINGANDGENERAL4#S COVEREDUNDERTHECONTRACT

Visit uscommunities.org/coopstandards for a due diligence check list


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Project Ove rview

Reading Area Com munity Col Reading, lege PA

Lutron stair

A huge opportunity to save energy. Building code requires stairwells to be illuminated 24/7, but dimming those lights when the space is unoccupied can save a lot of energy and money. A study by Lutron estimates that a simple stairwell lighting retrofit can result in up to 80-82 percent in energy savings.* Graybar can help you every step of the way – with energy-saving lighting retrofits and much more. Call 1-800-GRAYBAR today to learn more about our intelligent energy products or go to graybar.com/nigp-1.

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well retro

Challenge

fit fixture

solution

helps RACC

College/U niversity 11 stair wells 5 buildings

(RACC),

save ener

Reading Area Community access, and College is committed to meeting to providing the identified community. affordable Like virtua educational lly all educa affordable needs of the tional faciliti acces es, the ability despite increa s depends, in part, to provide on keeping sing energ operating y and facilit costs in line y maintenanc Mike Hodo e costs. wanec, Purch saves mone asing Mana ger, recog y, and worke nized that controls could d with Lutro savin n to analy contribute ze and evalu g energy to reduced ate how light electricity A walk-throu bills. gh of camp us out as an obvious place buildings revealed that stairw stairwells to gain efficie ell lightin be illuminated ncies. Buildi 24 those lights ng code dictat g stood on at full brigh hours a day, 7 days es that a week, but, amount of wasted energ tness all the time result keeping y. s in a signif icant Eleven stairw ells including some in five buildings were chosen for stairwells per week. the lighting that are typica Altogether, retrofit, lly used for these power use, costing more stairwells accounted less than two hours for 53,000 than $5,00 KWh of 0 per year.

gy and redu

ce costs.

“Controllin g the stair well light ing was easily quan tifiable as a meth od of saving energy .” Mike Hodowa nec, Purchasin g Man Reading Area ager, Community College

photo courtesy

of RACC

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NO QUOTE REQUIRED. AND YOU CAN QUOTE US ON THAT. THATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S THE POWER OF THE HOME DEPOT. Our proven relationship with U.S. Communities means your government agency can shop directly at The Home Depot without requesting bids. As a U.S. Communities participant, we will accept your government procurement cards and provide access to our outside sales team to save you even more time.

FOR DETAILS VISIT homedepot.com/gov or call 1-800-589-0690

The Cooperative Gold Standard uscommunities.org/coopstandards 40 | JUNE/JULY 2012


IN DEPTH [transportation]

f o r a e F o N mitment m o C

Atlanta’s public school district buys transportation fuel a year at a time to get lower pricing By Larry Anderson

A

tlanta Public Schools use an annual fixed price contract for diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline, an approach that has provided some $2.27 million in total savings over the last three years and avoids the impact of price spikes in the market by ensuring the same per-gallon price all year. To take advantage of fixed pricing, the district has to accurately project how much transportation fuel it will use over the course of the year, and the contract commits the district to pay for any unused contracted fuel at year’s end. Currently, the district has a fixed price contract of $3.61 per gallon for diesel, used by the district’s fleet of school

www.govpro.com • GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT | 41


IN DEPTH [transportation] buses, and $3.45 per gallon for unleaded, used by the district’s “white” fleet of passenger cars, trucks and maintenance vehicles. A recent daily spot market price showed $3.78 for diesel and $3.52 for unleaded (according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data). All prices are “fullyloaded” including taxes, fees, delivery charges, etc. In 2010, the district saved 35 cents per gallon for diesel and 21 cents per gallon for unleaded, based on comparison of the locked-in contract prices and the average market prices for the year. In 2011, the district saved 70 cents per gallon for diesel and 35 cents per gallon for unleaded for the year. In addition to better prices, the district is better able to budget without having to manage against a fluctuating market price that is driven by political and environmental changes. For example, it’s easy to remember how hurricane Katrina caused a spike in transportation fuel costs. A LONGER-VIEW APPROACH TO BUYING FUEL Related to buying transportation fuel, the procurement department is a partner to the district in providing true strategic planning. Helping to manage expectations throughout the upcoming fiscal year allows the district to focus on what’s most important, educating children. The operations department provides the necessary data on trends within the district, and the procurement department helps to develop best-case scenarios to drive solicitations to get the best quality and price for the district. When Randall Sellers, Director of Procurement Services, came to Atlanta Public Schools in 2008, he immediately did a spend analysis to look for potential savings. Even then, the budget was getting tighter, and he realized transportation fuel was a large cost. Of the district’s 50,000 students, about 60 percent ride school buses, whose diesel fuel needs make up about 90 percent of the district’s transportation fuel spend, with the unleaded fuel used by other vehicles taking up the other roughly 10 percent. In discussions with the transportation director in 2008, Sellers found that transportation fuel was being purchased on the spot

Atlanta Public Schools save at the pump by buying transportation fuel a year at a time for a fixed price.

42 | JUNE/JULY 2012

The biggest sticking point, and perhaps the reason more entities don’t buy transportation fuel a year at a time, is that any unused fuel at the end of the contract term has to be paid for. market. He looked at the last five years and realized that the volume of fuel was increasing every year. Preliminary estimates suggested annual savings ranging from $500,000 to $750,000 were possible using a fixed price contract. Sellers sold the idea to senior managers and the School Board, and did a request for proposal (RFP) in 2009. (Georgia law currently limits the duration of contracts to 12 months. The transportation fuel contracts also have four option years, but an additional commitment is required for each option year.) Each solicitation specifies a particular date and the number of gallons that will be purchased during the next 12 months from that date. Suppliers bid a fixed price for diesel and a fixed price for unleaded for the specified amount of fuel during the 12 months. Because bids are based on projections from a specific date, it can be useful to do the solicitation when the market appears to be going down rather than up, such as right before spring break when pricing usually trends down. “If you look at the trends in the last two years, it’s hard to know exactly when you are going to get in,” Sellers admitted. Better pricing comes from leveraging the larger spend, and by enabling suppliers to combine the purchase from wholesalers with other large contracts, whether for cities and states or buying consortia. Such factors mean that bids may vary by 35 to 40 cents, although in 2012 there was a difference of only about 7 cents. Contracts have received as many as six bidders. TRACKING VOLUME USAGE IS KEY The certainty of budgeting using a fixed price outweighs the unlikely possibility that spot prices could go down drastically during the contract term, says Sellers. “Some people say it’s a risk, but I don’t think it’s risky. Your budget is what your budget is, and we have come under budget every year we have done this,” he said. The biggest sticking point, and perhaps the reason more entities don’t buy transportation fuel a year at a time, is that any unused fuel at the end of the contract term has to be paid for. “We had to make sure our volume was on point, that we would know exactly where we would be at the end of the year,” said Sellers. “We figured on the low


side because we wanted to make sure we didn’t come under. In the first year, we were over by 9,000 gallons because of summer school. We keep track all year on a weekly basis to make sure we are on track to use everything this year.” Creating language in the contract on how to settle up at the end of the year was one challenge of the solicitation. When the invoice for the year’s final fuel purchase is paid, the district is committed to “true-up” by paying for the cost of the unused fuel, which fortunately hasn’t happened yet. There also is language in the contract acknowledging that fuel purchases are contingent on continuing receipt of K-12 appropriations and tax revenues. Other school districts in surrounding Atlanta metro counties are still buying transportation fuel on the spot market. Sellers said he has reached out to other districts about the possibility of doing a combined solicitation (with potentially even greater savings), but so far without success, whether because of the need to accurately project fuel usage a year ahead or possible bureaucratic or legalistic obstacles. For example, if four districts commit to hit a target and only one of the four misses, then do the other districts have to share in paying the shortfall? The topic has also come up at meetings of the Metropolitan Regional Educational Service Agency (MRESA), and there has been some interest, but contract differences and inconsistent legal requirements

from one district to the next seem to present obstacles. Another approach Atlanta Public Schools is considering to lower costs is to buy electricity based on load patterns of power usage throughout the day. Committing to certain load levels, such as a lower load at night when the schools are closed, can decrease prices and drive down costs. ‘DON’T SETTLE FOR THE NORM’ Sellers says his experience with the transportation fuel contract demonstrates the importance of not accepting the status quo without questioning if there might be a better approach. “Don’t settle for the norm,” he said. “Look at different, creative ways. Look at your spend as a whole, at what you’re paying for and how you’re paying. Just because you have done it one way in the past doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it that way. “Nobody ever said we couldn’t buy fixed, it’s just that no one ever tried it here,” he said. When doing a spend analysis, there are only a few ways to reduce costs – by rebidding, by negotiating, by avoiding costs, or by looking at a different model. The latter is proving its value at Atlanta Public Schools. In a guaranteed contract, the vendor knows they will get their volume and will give a better price based on that volume. The only drawback: “It’s guaranteed and you have to do it,” said Sellers.

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IN DEPTH [best practices]

Modernizing Charleston’s Classrooms

Procurement project saves money, incorporates sustainable standards and addresses evolving education needs By Larry Anderson

New modern, lightweight furniture is used for classrooms and other educational environments by the Charleston County School District in South Carolina. New furniture offers ergonomic benefits for students and practical benefits for school administrators, such as the ability to stack chairs on tops of desks for the cleaning crew. Educational trends such as greater cooperation and community among students are being reflected in furniture configurations that are more flexible and promote student interaction.

44 | JUNE/JULY 2012

C

lassroom furniture has evolved a lot since the days of heavy-gauge steel desks arranged in straight rows all facing the front of the classroom. Furniture is changing to reflect new, more flexible teaching styles and the realization that there’s no such thing as “one style fits all.” As educators foster a more cooperative approach and greater community as ways to boost student achievement, it’s essential that the classroom environment – including furniture, fixtures and equipment – keep pace. Sustainable furniture has also demonstrated its value to achieve productive learning environments with ample light, high-quality acoustics and air flow that is safe to breathe. Incorporating the benefits of the latest trends


in green furniture products can promote good indoor environmental quality and support areas properly equipped with comfortable, functional furnishings. Charleston County School District in South Carolina sought to take all these factors into consideration when it began the “21st Century Classroom Modernization Program” five years ago in conjunction with a capital building program involving construction of 18 schools between 2005 and 2009. Leading the classroom modernization initiative, the district’s construction procurement team developed and established standards for sustainable furniture, fixtures and equipment for elementary, middle and high schools. The new standards are geared to support the learning and teaching climate and classroom activities for existing and newly constructed facilities. “We knew we needed to get out of our comfort zone for the project to be successful,” remembers Tammie Yeadon, Construction Procurement Supervisor. DEVELOPING NEW STANDARDS Charleston County School District undertook classroom modernization to ensure that physical settings are conducive to the continuous and changing needs of the learning community. The technical infrastructure must support current and future mobile and fixed technical equipment and enable the sharing of all data types. All learning spaces must provide the necessary elements that allow for instruction and learning at all times and be mobile and flexible to adapt to changes in the teaching and learning activities. To develop new standards, the construction procurement team held focus group meetings with stakeholders (maintenance, procurement staff, information technology [IT] staff, education staff, parent volunteers) to learn about evolving classroom needs. “It’s important that we include stakeholders in the process,” said Yeadon. A dozen or so focus group meetings were held in 2006 and 2007, including five to 10 people in each group. Discussions centered around what furniture would support education needs, what’s comfortable, and how furniture can impact the learning climate. Attention also centered on minimizing variables to achieve more equity across the district while still allowing each school to maintain its individuality. The district also emphasized lower per-unit costs while maintaining good quality. “We asked ourselves questions such as how would the classroom be used? Would the furniture support a studentcentered classroom? Would it be appropriate given new trends in technology? Would it accommodate new teaching technologies such as iPads and smart boards?” said Yeadon. The district also released a Request for Information (RFI) to the public inviting suppliers across the nation to submit green furniture products. The selection team narrowed the products to those with the desired specifications, i.e., those that are sustainable, flexible, adaptable, safe and lightweight. The district held its first Furniture Vendor’s Fair at the

2008 Summer Leadership Conference, when District staff was able to examine the quality and functionality of more than 250 pieces of equipment provided by manufacturers for office, classroom, media center, computer lab and miscellaneous spaces. Participants evaluated the furniture using a rating system. Yeadon said her department also visited other education furniture exhibits to get a broader view of what’s available in the market, talking to various manufacturers to assess their quality and flexibility. Also considered was how well the furniture could hold up to possible rough treatment by students: would it bend or scratch? The realities of classrooms today require desks to be moved around by students, so the new furniture had to be lightweight and easy to move without creating a safety issue. Ergonomics were also considered. A doctor was invited in to speak about the value of sustainable products and the role of ergonomic furniture to encourage students to pay better attention and to focus. The district became better educated about the value of collaborative learning environments. “You have to have a holistic point of view,” said Yeadon. “You don’t want anything that is toxic in your environment, but you also want to look at materials, how the furniture is built, what’s inside the laminate tops. We looked at samples.” Suppliers also did presentations about their manufacturing methods to enable comparison. FORMULATING THE ACQUISITION STRATEGY Based on the research, Charleston County School District adopted “Seven Essentials of Learning for the Sustainable Furniture Approach.” The essentials include a learner-centric environment and the abilities to adapt to programs and personalize learning conditions. Other factors are community connections, aesthetics, safety and collaboration. The District’s Sustainable Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Standardization Approach also meets the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) and the district’s stakeholders’ expectation of achieving savings. Suppliers were evaluated based on GREENGUARD certification and adherence to ISO 14001 environmental standards. An acquisition strategy position paper, approved by district management, guided the selection of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) to modernize Charleston’s school facilities. The district proposed using the Invitation for Bid procurement method. Construction procurement formulated standardized “packages” of furniture, fixtures and equipment for elementary school, middle school, and high school, defining all the components and facilitating the bulk purchase process. There were also an office package, a music package, a science and art package and a cafeteria furniture package. Item numbers of approved products were specified, along with the make and model, a picture of the product and the quantity of the bulk purchase. All bids included costs such as delivery and installation and project management services.

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IN DEPTH [best practices] â&#x20AC;&#x153;We look at the value for the money, the suitability, the durability, the safety, the ease of use,â&#x20AC;? said Yeadon. Factors also include the possible effect of furniture on the schoolsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; flooring â&#x20AC;&#x201C; lightweight furniture must have castors or the ability to glide across vinyl composition tile (VCT) floors without damage. Chairs need to be stackable and/or easily put on top of the desk to clear way for the cleaning crew. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Testing the little things can help avoid a big issue,â&#x20AC;? she said. These standards were used for purchasing furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) for all school levels, supporting the learning and teaching climate of classroom activities for existing and newly constructed schools. Buying the furniture in â&#x20AC;&#x153;bulkâ&#x20AC;? took advantage of the larger buy to receive better pricing. Comparison between submitted prices and catalog prices show FF&E group price savings ranging from 50 to 56 percent. Bid prices include the cost of shipping and installation, whereas list prices do no. At the end of the Capital Building Project Closeout, the District saved approximately $4 million of FF&E with the bulk purchasing bid. STILL WORK LEFT TO DO â&#x20AC;&#x153;My job is more than just purchasing the furniture,â&#x20AC;? said Yeadon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I try to get the best value by looking at the total concept. I connect the focus groups with the manufacturers.

We have to be able to identify and assess trends.â&#x20AC;? Yeadon is proud that Charleston is ahead of the curve related to classroom modernization and on par with forward-looking districts nationally. Classroom modernization in Charleston also extends to existing schools, which are progressing based on availability of funds. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re strategically focused on upgrading various areas that are approved by Charleston County School District,â&#x20AC;? said Yeadon. Current furniture purchases across the board are being made according to the established standards. The effort is five years old now, and Yeadon says there is still work left to do. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have to engage your staff and stakeholders and make them a part of the process,â&#x20AC;? said Yeadon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As procurement, we are there to make sure the money is well spent and there is quality and value. You have to engage stakeholders to make real changes.â&#x20AC;? She acknowledges the role and support of other departments, including the academic team and the capital building team, in implementing the program. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some people have ideas and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to get them implemented. You have to have support around you on a senior level,â&#x20AC;? Yeadon said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re customer-focused. The academic team and the procurement department work together to identify trends that exist out there and identify other possibilities being offered in the education market.â&#x20AC;?

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46 | JUNE/JULY 2012


IN DEPTH [legal pro]

Untying the

Legalistic Straightjacket Courts generally defer to procurement’s decision-making processes – if they are documented By Richard Pennington

A

Rhode Island court decision recently used the phrase “legalistic straightjacket” in an opinion that demonstrated judicial sensitivity to the challenges procurement officials face in making decisions. This article looks at recent bid protest cases that illustrate how far courts go to preserve the discretion exercised by procurement professionals. COURTS EXERCISE GREAT CARE IN INJUNCTIONS AGAINST AWARDS The “legalistic straightjacket” phrase has been a part of the Rhode Island bid protest lexicon since 1970. The phrase was used again in a 2005 bid protest case involving two health care plan providers vying for the state’s business. [Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island v. Najarian, 865 A.2d 1074 (Rhode Island Supreme Court, 2005)] In Blue Cross, the trial court had sustained a protest against the award and issued an injunction against the execution of the contract. The Supreme Court reversed, noting that while the contract award perhaps was not handled perfectly (at least partly because the department was understaffed), nevertheless a “fair and open bid process was conducted in good faith, and we must afford a presumption of correctness to the State’s decision. Any mistakes made during the process simply do not rise to the level of palpable abuse of discretion.” To hold otherwise, the court reasoned, “would place the Judiciary in the position of litigating the award of every state and municipal contract and would place public officials in charge of awarding such contracts in the ‘legalistic straightjacket’.” This court decision illustrates the great care taken in overturning award decisions. In the author’s experience,

courts are reluctant to overturn executive agency decisions without clear evidence that a substantial error was made. THE PROPER EXERCISE OF DISCRETION HAS LIMITS Two 2012 cases illustrate other courts’ views of the range of discretion. In Ohio, an evaluation committee determined that an offeror proposing on the Columbus Airport Authority’s baggage handling system was not responsible. [Glidepath, LLC v. Columbus Regional Airport Authority, 2012 Ohio 20 (Ohio Court of Appeals, 2012)] The court upheld the determination, finding the responsibility analysis comprehensive. The airport’s finance director was a member of the evaluation committee. Financial statements and Dun & Bradstreet reports were analyzed. The committee also considered reports about late payments to subcontractors and evidence that the company had limited project management experience. The court concluded that it would not substitute its judgment and would “presume that the Airport performed its duties in a lawful manner … [The Airport] made qualitative determinations regarding Glidepath’s resources, capacity, and overall ability to perform the project. Based upon our review, the Airport’s responsibility determination was supported by logic and reason.” Still, sometimes the process looks otherwise to a court. A Virginia court decision considered the fact that different reasons were given during debriefings for the protester’s not winning the contract. [Professional Building Maintenance Corp. v. School Board of County of Spotsylvania, No. 110410 (Virginia Supreme Court, 2012)] In that case, the county held two post-award meetings with the vendor. As the court saw the meetings, the first emphasized a weakness in the company’s environmentally preferable purchasing program. In the second meeting,

www.govpro.com • GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT | 47


IN DEPTH [legal pro] according to the courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s findings, the county raised different reasons for the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not being successful: issues of responsibility, problems with the plan for transitioning from the incumbent contractor, and concerns about the method of conducting background

checks. The justices found that the award decision was arbitrary and capricious. On the other hand, a New Jersey case illustrates the common deference given to procurement professionalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; decisions to cancel solicitations. [A&A Industrial Piping, Inc. v. County of Passaic,

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A-4902-10T4 (New Jersey Supreme Court, 2012)] In A&A, bids had been received for upgrades to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and fire protection systems for the county jail. A&A protested the intended award to the low bidder on various grounds, including the fact that the apparent awardee was not prequalified by the county to perform structural steel or HVAC work. The county realized it inadvertently had omitted prequalification of contractors in the solicitation terms and conditions. The county cancelled the solicitation. A&A sued. The court sustained the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision, agreeing with the trial court judge that the county did not abuse its discretion in determining that it needed to rebid the project to ensure that only prequalified contractors worked on the project. The court reasoned that the countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cancellation and re-solicitation decision put potential bidders on an equal footing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ensuring that they had a common understanding of the qualification requirements. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[T]here can be no judicial declaration of invalidity in the absence of clear abuse of discretion,â&#x20AC;? the court concluded. PUTTING THE BEST FACE ON PROCUREMENT DECISIONS Judges do not want to second-guess procurement decisions. Still, they have a responsibility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; like procurement professionals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to safeguard equity and integrity in the process. In the bid protest context, courts generally defer to procurement decisions if they are not arbitrary and capricious. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Arbitraryâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;capriciousâ&#x20AC;? are terms that suggest there was no considered judgment: decisions were made on a whim without analysis, reasoning or application of standards. Remember that local laws, ordinances, or policies may have specific requirements, but here are approaches that help courts understand how discretion was properly exercised in a contract award: Document key decisions. If your


statutes or ordinances refer to â&#x20AC;&#x153;findingsâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;determinations,â&#x20AC;? courts look for memoranda that document key decisions. Even if laws do not require written determinations, the procurement file should â&#x20AC;&#x153;tell the story.â&#x20AC;? Remember that the first impression of disappointed bidders, their counsel, and courts is gained from the procurement file. Include brief memoranda that recite the rule and explain the rationale for key decisions like rejection of bids that are not responsive, correction of bid mistakes, waivers of minor irregularities, and determinations that bidders are not responsible. Brief evaluation members about the importance of following the process and the fact that their evaluation comments will be subject to review by disappointed bidders (in many if not most states). Better yet, on complex requests for proposal (RFP) projects, use an evaluation plan that clearly aligns with the RFPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evaluation language. Be on the lookout for evaluation comments or documents that do not make sense. For example, wide variations in past experience evaluations from poor to outstanding can be a red flag during a companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s review of the procurement file. An evaluatorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strike-out, change, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;reconsidered after discussionâ&#x20AC;? comment helps show considered judgment. Numerical scores (if used) donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be identical â&#x20AC;&#x201C; evaluators can disagree about application of criteria â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but unexplained, unexpected variations can raise questions. Make sure that evaluators talk about wide initial evaluation disparities and that the procurement file shows that they did. Use a succinct evaluation memorandum that tracks the RFP language and summarizes the strengths of the winning offer. Highlight why the winning proposal won using RFP evaluation factors as the guide. If an offer wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as strong in one area, say so. It shows a balanced evaluation. (Said another way, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just let the spreadsheet â&#x20AC;&#x201C; if you use numerical ratings -- speak for itself entirely. People decide. Spreadsheets donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t!)

Be prepared for RFP post-award debriefings and have one person lead the discussion. We owe industry (who often spends a lot of money and time developing proposals) an explanation about how they can improve proposals. Some states (and the federal government) require debriefings by law under certain circumstances. An inconsistency between a debriefing and the procurement file puts a chink in the armor of court deference to procurement professional discretion. FILES SHOULD DESERVE DEFERENCE Your state laws will vary, but in my experience the court decisions in this article illustrate common themes nationally. If your experience differs significantly, talk with your counsel about why. NIGP has given you the tools to tell a compelling procurement

story in your procurement file that should convince a court not to put you in a â&#x20AC;&#x153;legalistic straightjacket.â&#x20AC;? At NIGP Forum this year, think and talk about the special role that procurement professionals play in fostering an equitable, effective and efficient public procurement system. Do the decisions in your procurement files deserve the deference that courts often give them? RICHARD PENNINGTON, CPPO, C.P.M., J.D., LL.M. is an NIGP Individual Member and NIGP Instructor. He served as an assistant attorney general (procurement and contract law and litigation) and State Purchasing Director for the State of Colorado. He retired from the practice of public procurement law in 2010.

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www.govpro.com â&#x20AC;˘ GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT | 49


EXHIBITORS SHOWCASE ACRO SERVICE CORPORATION

APPLIED INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES

GRAYBAR

BOOTH: USC3

BOOTH: USC6

BOOTH: 24

Company Address: 39209 West Six Mile Road, Suite 250 Livonia, Michigan 48152 www.acrocorp.com/uscommunities

Company Address: 1 Applied Plaza Cleveland, OH 44115 1-877-279-2799

Company Address: 34 N. Meramec Avenue St. Louis, MO 63105 www.graybar.com

Applied Industrial Technologies understands that in these tough, economic times, you’re responsible for cutting costs. We can help you lower your cost of procurement and make ordering maintenance products easy through our value-added services, technical expertise, multiple ordering methods, and partnership with the U.S. Communities cooperative (contract #11019). Learn how Applied® can help you stretch your budget dollar at www. applied.com/uscommunities.

Contact: government@graybar.com

Contact: Kent Stastny, Director, MSP Solutions kents@acrocorp.com 734-632-4276 – direct phone Founded in 1982, Acro Service Corporation is a leading global provider of a complete range of staffing, technology and consulting solutions for all labor categories, including IT, engineering, light industrial, clerical, professional and administration. Additionally, we have a dedicated team supporting the unique needs of local, state, and federal government agencies. Acro is a pioneer in the creation and use of offshore software development centers and has 33 offices worldwide. Acro has a proven and industry leading Managed Service Provider (MSP) solution that enables our clients to streamline and optimize their contingent workforce related processes and cost (spend). Acro’s state-of-theart VMS system, XRMSM System automates the total life cycle of contingent workforce utilization (procurement-to-pay or P2P cycle) through a hosted web-based service that is customized for each client’s unique requirements.

50 | JUNE/JULY 2012

With decades of experience in supply chain management and more than 240 stocking locations throughout North America, Graybar has a long track record of helping our customers improve their bottom-line results. You can count on Graybar for quality products, reliable service and innovative solutions. We earn our customers’ trust every day by demonstrating integrity and delivering real value. As an employee-owned company, our people have a stake in our long-term success—and yours. Find out how Graybar can work to your advantage.


HAWORTH

HD SUPPLY

MASTERCARD WORLDWIDE

BOOTH: USC19

BOOTH: USC38

BOOTH: N/A

Company address: One Haworth Center Holland, MI 49423-9576

Contact: www.hdsupplysolutions.com/usc 1-877-610-6912 govsales@hdsupply.com

Company address: MasterCard Worldwide 2000 Purchase Street Purchase, NY 10577

At HD Supply Facilities Maintenance, our government support team will help you reduce procurement lead times, lower administrative costs, and take advantage of our competitively awarded U.S. Communities contract. Offering government agencies access to free, next-day delivery on over 22,000 quality maintenance and repair products, and robust e-procurement capabilities we can help save you time and money.

MasterCard Worldwide, a leading global payments solutions company, is a driving force at the heart of commerceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;enabling global transactions and bringing insights into the payments process to make commerce faster, more secure, and more valuable to everyone involved.

Contact: www.haworth.com www.organicworkspaces.com www.haworthcollection.com @haworthinc www.facebook.com/haworthinc Haworth is a global leader in the design and manufacture of office furniture and organic workspaces, including raised access floors, moveable walls, systems furniture, seating, storage and wood casegoods. Family-owned, Haworth is headquartered in Michigan and serves markets in more than 120 countries.

www.govpro.com â&#x20AC;˘ GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT | 51


EXHIBITORS SHOWCASE PERISCOPE HOLDINGS, INC

TCPN (The Cooperative Purchasing Network)

U.S. COMMUNITIES

BOOTH: 521

BOOTH: 732

BOOTH: USC39

Company Address: 211 East 7th Street Suite 1100 Austin, TX 78701 877-472-9062 www.periscopeholdings.com

Company address: 11280 West Rd. Houston, Texas  77065

Company Address: 9711 Washingtonian Blvd., Ste 100 Gaithersburg, MD 20878 www.uscommunities.org

Contact: Ken McFarland VP Sales & Marketing 512-666-9387 kmcfarland@periscopeholdings.com Periscope Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of public sector procurement solutions, serving customers nationwide. We work to eradicate waste and bring value to every dollar spent by our clients. Our solutions streamline processes, increase efficiency, decrease expenditures and create transparency. Periscope offers BuySpeed™ an enterprise eProcurement software suite, rated #1 for public sector use by Gartner; it’s designed to manage vendors, requisitions, solicitations, purchase orders, contracts and inventory. We also serve as the sole custodian of the NIGP Commodity/Services Code and offer consultative services.

52 | JUNE/JUL JJUNE/JJULY 20 JUNE/JULY 2 12 2012

As a trusted national governmental purchasing cooperative, TCPN provides access to one of the largest pools of purchasing potential…saving time, cost and compliance worries for educational and governmental entities. Our wide range of vendors offers large and small entities the same best value pricing as the largest buyers– even from national vendors!

®

Contact: Chris Robb (571) 243-1651 (925) 933-8457 Fax U.S. Communities cooperative purchasing program is the gold standard when it comes to honest and effective public procurement. For more than 15 years, U.S. Communities has been committed to serving and protecting a participating public agency’s ethical, legal, and financial interest at all times. The program delivers comprehensive business solutions that help agencies maximize cost control and improve operational efficiencies and performance. To learn more about U.S. Communities visit www.uscommunities.org.


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RESOURCES [calendar of events] Face-2-Face Courses

SEPT. Contract Administration Date: Sept. 24 – 26 Location: Austin, Texas Instructor: Kirk Buffington, CPPO, C.P.M, MBA Hosted by: Texas Association of Public Purchasers Chapter of NIGP Contract Administration Date: Sept. 25 – 27 Location: Overland Park, Kan. Instructor: David Nash, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Mid-America Council of Public Purchasing Chapter of NIGP

Association of Governmental Purchasing and Property Agents Chapter of NIGP CPPO Prep Date: Sept. 20-21 Location: Tallmadge, Ohio Instructor: Kirk Buffington, CPPO, C.P.M., MBA Hosted by: Central Ohio Organization of Public Purchasers Chapter of NIGP CPPO Prep Date: Sept. 26-27 Location: Thunder Bay, Ont. Instructor: Jennie Readey, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter of NIGP

Contract Administration Date: Sept. 26 -28 Location: Centennial, Colo. Instructor: Joyce Foster, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Rocky Mountain Governmental Purchasing Association Chapter of NIGP

Developing and Managing RFPs Date: Sept. 19-21 Location: Richmond, Va. Instructor: Ronald King, CPPO, CPPB, VCO Hosted by: Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. Chapter of NIGP

Contract Administration Date: Sept. 26 -28 Location: Fairfax, Va. Instructor: Sally Barkley, CPPO, C.P.M., MBA Hosted by: Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. Chapter of NIGP

Effective Contract Writing Date: Sept. 26 -27 Location: Victoria, B.C. Instructor: Michael Kolodisner, CPPO Hosted by: Cascadia Chapter of NIGP

Contracting for Construction Services Date: Sept. 13 -14 Location: McKinney, Texas Instructor: Kenneth Hayslette, CPPO, C.P.M., CPCM Hosted by: Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex Chapter of NIGP

Introduction to Public Procurement Date: Sept. 11-13 Location: Des Moines, Iowa Instructor: Bill Davison, CPPO Hosted by: Iowa Public Procurement Association, Inc. Chapter of NIGP

CPPB Prep Date: Sept. 13 – 14 Location: Wilsonville, Ore. Instructor: Robin Rickard, CPPO, OPBC Hosted by: Oregon Public Purchasing Association, Inc. Chapter of NIGP

Introduction to Public Procurement Date: Sept. 12 - 14 Location: Frankfort, Ky. Instructor: Peter Rigterink, CPPO, CPPB, VCO Hosted by: Kentucky Public Procurement Association

CPPB Prep Date: Sept. 27-28 Location: Miami, Fla. Instructor: Sharon Lewis, CPPB, C.P.M., VCO Hosted by: Greater Miami Chapter of NIGP, Inc. CPPO Prep Date: Sept. 17 – 18 Location: Jackson, Miss. Instructor: Jennie Readey, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Mississippi

54 | JUNE/JULY 2012

Managing Your End Users and Suppliers Date: Sept. 27 Location: Thunder Bay, Ont. Instructor: Michael Bevis, CPPO, JD, CPSM, C.P.M., PMP Hosted by: Ontario Public Buyers Association Seminar Site Protests and Disputes: What’s a Buyer To Do? Date: Sept. 26

Location: Thunder Bay, Ont. Instructor: Michael Bevis, CPPO, JD, CPSM, C.P.M., PMP Hosted by: Ontario Public Buyers Association Seminar Site Risk Management in Public Contracting Date: Sept. 26 – 27 Location: Albuquerque, N.M. Instructor: Kenneth Hayslette, CPPO, C.P.M., CPCM Hosted by: New Mexico Public Procurement Association Chapter of NIGP Strategic Procurement Planning Date: Sept. 5 -7 Location: Columbus, Ohio Instructor: Barbara Johnson, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Central Ohio Organization of Public Purchasers Chapter of NIGP Strategic Procurement Planning Date: Sept. 5 – 7 Location: Norristown, Pa. Instructor: Edmund Grant, CPPO, CPPB, RPPO Hosted by: Pennsylvania Public Purchasing Association Chapter of NIGP World Class Procurement Practices Date: Sept. 14 Location: Norman, Okla. Instructor: Darin Matthews, CPPO, C.P.M. Hosted by: Oklahoma Association of Public Procurement, Inc. Chapter of NIGP

OCT. Adding Value to the Procurement Process Date: Oct. 3 Location: Baton Rouge, La. Instructor: Darin Matthews Hosted by: Louisiana Chapter of NIGP Change Management for the Procurement Professional Date: Oct. 17-18 Location: Midwest City, Okla. Instructor: Leslie Vallie, CPPO Hosted by: Oklahoma Association of Public Procurement, Inc. Chapter of NIGP

Contract Administration Date: Oct. 1 – 3 Location: Edmonton, Alberta Instructor: Ken Babich, BCom, CPPO Hosted by: Canada West Chapter of NIGP Contract Administration Date: Oct. 15-17 Location: City of Brantford, Ont. Instructor: Stan Gal, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Ontario Public Buyers Association, Inc. Chapter of NIGP Contracting for Construction Services Date: Oct. 2-3 Location: Chesterfield, Va. Instructor: Edward Pabor, CPPO, CDT, C.P.M. Hosted by: Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. Chapter of NIGP Contracting for Public Sector Services Date: Oct. 10 – 11 Location: Austin, Texas Instructor: David Nash, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Texas Association of Public Purchasers Chapter of NIGP CPPB Prep Date: Oct. 15-16 Location: Norristown, Pa. Instructor: Lynda Allair, CPPO Hosted by: Pennsylvania Public Purchasing Association Chapter of NIGP Legal Aspects of Public Procurement Date: Oct. 24-26 Location: Columbia, S.C. Instructor: James Davis, CPPO, MBA Hosted by: South Carolina Association of Governmental Purchasing Officials Chapter of NIGP Managing Your EndUsers and Suppliers Date: Oct. 17 Location: Des Moines, Iowa Instructor: Darin Matthews, CPPO, C.P.M. Hosted by: Iowa Public Procurement Association, Inc. Chapter of NIGP Marketing 101 For The Procurement Professional Date: Oct. 5 Location: Tampa, Fla. Instructor: Paul Brennan, CPPO Hosted by: Tampa Bay Area Chapter of NIGP


Continued from page 4

Protests and Disputes: What’s a Buyer To Do? Date: Oct. 12 Location: Austin, Texas Instructor: David Nash, CPPO, CPPB Hosted by: Texas Association of Public Purchasers Chapter of NIGP Strategic Procurement Planning Date: Oct. 17 -19 Location: McKinney, Texas Instructor: Edmund Grant, CPPO, CPPB, RPPO Hosted by: Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex Chapter of NIGP

Online Courses Developing and Managing RFPs Date: Sept. 4 – Nov. 6 Registration Deadline: Aug. 28 Contracting for Public Sector Services Date: Sept. 12 – Oct. 31 Registration Deadline: Sept. 5 Contract Administration Date: Sept. 20 – Nov. 22 Registration Deadline: Sept. 13

ADVERTISER INDEX ADVERTISER ........................................................ PAGE ACRO SERVICE CORPORATION ............................................38 APPLIED INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES ..............................33 CARQUEST.....................................................................................34 CERTAINTEED GYPSUM, INC. ..................................................17 ELECTRALED, INC. .......................................................................16 E-Z-GO.............................................................................................19 FABENCO, INC. ..............................................................................8 FORD MOTOR COMPANY .......................................................11 GAMETIME ......................................................................................36 GRAINGER........................................................................................3 GRAYBAR ........................................................................................37 GTSI CORP. .....................................................................................35 HAWORTH INCORPORATED ................................................32 HD SUPPLY FACILITIES MAINTENANCE ..............................38 HERTZ EQUIPMENT RENTAL CORPORATION ................39 IMAGING SUPPLIES COALITION ..............................................5 INDEPENDENT STATIONERS, INC. ........................................35 INTIRION-MICROFRIDGE ...................................................... IBC JOHN DEERE ................................................................................IFC KNOLL, INC....................................................................................36 LIFTMOORE INC...........................................................................49 MASTERCARD INTERNATIONAL ........................................6, 7 MORBARK INC .............................................................................48 NATIONAL JOINT POWERS ASSOCIATION.......................15 PERISCOPE HOLDINGS..............................................................27 PREMIER INC..................................................................................34 PUBLIC SOURCING SOLUTIONS ...........................................46 SAFEWARE-MALLORY ...............................................................35 SERVICEWEAR APPAREL ...........................................................31 SIEMENS ......................................................................................... BC STAPLES ADVANTAGE.................................................................43 TCPN ................................................................................................12 THE GARLAND COMPANY, INC.............................................34 THE HOME DEPOT ......................................................................40 TORO COMPANY .......................................................................13 U.S. COMMUNITIES......................................................... 28-29, 30 U.S. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION .......................9 ZEP, INC ...........................................................................................36

that, yet they failed to provide any concrete insight into how procurement professionals can get the best possible designbuild project by setting the groundwork for the kind of truly integrated project that satisfies owner and stakeholder needs. For example, DBIA has long espoused the view that the predominant factor in the selection of a design-builder should be the qualifications of the design-build team. Owners who choose their design-builders based largely on qualifications reap substantial benefits – such as increased teamwork, proactive behavior, and collaboration – that contribute to project success. These benefits are well-understood by federal and state agencies. For decades federal and state agencies have selected their design professionals through qualifications under the Brooks Act and “mini” Brooks Acts, and have developed shortlists based on the qualifications of designbuilders proposing under a best value procurement process. In instances where qualifications-based selection (QBS) is not viable, DBIA advises using a two-step design-build for projects that are large or technically complex. The two-step process relies on an RFQ phase to select the three most qualified teams to submit proposals. The corresponding RFP should thoroughly outline project requirements via performance specifications, establish the criteria for award, and determine the winning team through a best value selection process. DBIA educates both owner agencies and their procurement staffs on how to maximize design-build project delivery through a synergistic, three-pronged approach that includes: > Performance requirement that clearly articulate owners’ needs while providing flexibility, opportunities for creativity and accountability; > Source selection processes that ensure the right team gets the job; and > Rewards for high performance through aspirational contracts with awards and incentives. Yes, it is a different approach that even seasoned procurement officials may initially feel challenged by. However, these are the best practices that have been used to successfully procure numerous and highly complex public projects including the recently completed renovation of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy’s much heralded net-zero National Renewable Resources Laboratory in Golden, Colo. I have attended numerous Owners-Only Forums at DBIA’s conferences in which procurement officials have testified to the success of DBIA best practices even as they acknowledge that a “mental shift” away from the traditional design-bid-build mindset is required by all parties involved. These professionals, from agencies large and small, and representing federal, state, and local governments, were excited by design-build not only because it is a cost-effective means of delivering value to the public but also because design-build represents an opportunity for engagement and professional satisfaction beyond business as usual. — Susan Hines, Managing Director Public Relations and Information, Design-Build Institute of America, Washington, D.C.

www.govpro.com • GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT | 55


BACK PAGES [fred marks]

Thank your leaders … and be one T

here have been volumes written about professionalism but I would like to explore the responsibility we take on with our professionalism. Purchasing is not for the faint of heart; it’s a control position in management with awesome responsibilities, tough decisions and challenges. It’s for the “look them in the eye” and “stand by your decision” personality. The weak and wimpy are looked down upon and rarely last long. Responsibility is knowing the importance of being forthright when confronting a difficult situation, of not sending an e-mail or a note (or worse yet, having someone else do it for you), when a phone call or personal visit will solve the problem. It’s not using position power and undue influence to further a personal agenda. There can be no ego in what we do! It’s explaining your decisions and not using others to fight your battles. The monies we collect for our organizations come largely from public funding. We have a responsibility to treat them as public, even though they may be considered private funds. It is appropriate and professional for those responsible for expenditures to have a public money mindset when approving expenditures and contractual agreements. It’s unprofessional and irregular to use an organization’s money for expenses that exceed the limits of most public agencies’ protocols. If you are unclear about a situation, use the gold standard of asking yourself “what would my membership think and how would they react if they knew what I was doing?” It’s unspoken, and perhaps uncomfortable to discuss, but there is a personal element of respect and civilized behavior toward each other, both interpersonally and professionally, that we need to maintain and constantly reinforce. We have a responsibility to pass the spirit of involvement and volunteerism along to those who come after us. We have a responsibility to share our moral and ethical capital with our organizations. As public servants we are taught from the first day to do more for our profession. The sharing of information and advice among purchasing professionals sets us apart. Phone calls and e-mails about professional subjects are always returned with the best and most candid advice the sender can offer. There is a dual responsibility when we elect those who represent us on the governing boards of our organizations. Our responsibility is to elect the very best we have, those with whom we entrust our destiny. We ask these elected board members to look into the future and determine where we go as a profession in the next years, and they have a responsibility to work, think, research, discuss and lead us. In every chapter and in our national organizations there is a core group of people who work without credit or ego; without compensation, often paying to attend classes and conferences out of their own pockets, but with a devotion to the profession and a desire to help. They are the ones that get up early and stay late at events. They hand out programs, collect tickets, do the heavy lifting and are the most reliable of our group. And they recognize the value of what they do for the profession. They take it as a responsibility. Next time you see one of these special people at an event that is seamless, make sure you thank them. And if you have never been one of them, now is the time to start. It’s rewarding for its own sake. Just knowing that you are contributing is a high form of professionalism. It’s the first step in the ladder of leadership. Poll your board members and you will find most started as that person on a committee who did the grunt work.

FREDERICK MARKS, CPPO, VCO, is a retired purchasing officer who has held positions as a supervising buyer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as well as director of material management for Northern Virginia Community College. Contact Marks at fmarks@mindspring.com.

56 | JUNE/JULY 2012


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GovPro - June/July 2012