Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence



George J. Cronin was the State Purchasing Agent for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1925 to 1957, serving under 11 different governors. He was known as a trail blazer in the public procurement field and established the ground rules and operative procedures for centralized procurement within the Commonwealth. He was the first president of NASPO and is the namesake of the NASPO Cronin Club and the annual George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence.

NASPO was founded in 1947 at a meeting of state purchasing officials in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting was originally designed to seek ways and means for states to secure property distributed under the Surplus War Property Disposal Act of 1944. While at the meeting, Cronin urged the formation of an ongoing, formal organization of state purchasing officials as an effective vehicle to address specific public procurement issues and provide a network for resolving problems. The other attendees agreed and elected Cronin as president. He remained active in NASPO activities after his retirement in 1957.

The Cronin Club evolved from an idea presented by John Dyer of Maine to form an organization of NASPO past presidents and name it after Mr. Cronin. The group met for the first Cronin Club Luncheon at the NASPO Annual Conference in 1970. In 1974, the Cronin Club opened the luncheon to any NASPO member who wished to participate instead of restricting attendance to the past presidents and it became an established feature of the NASPO Annual Conference.

The Cronin Club decided to sponsor a “cost reduction” incentive program in 1977. This created interest among the states and encouraged them to share cost saving ideas with other states. The program has evolved over the past 30 years and adapted to the changing procurement landscape. The George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence is recognized as a premier achievement for innovative public procurement and pays homage to a founder and the first president of NASPO for his devotion to improving governmental purchasing.


Interested in nominating your state for the 2016 Cronin Awards? We are currently accepting nominations through July 27th.

Click here to make a submission.


NASPO Recognizes Innovation in State Government Procurement
George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence Recognize Tennessee, Minnesota and New York

LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 30, 2015) - The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) honored three innovative state procurement programs with the George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence at its Annual Conference during the Cronin Club Luncheon held September 29th in Norfolk, Virginia. Nominations were scored based on the criteria of innovation and initiative, transferability, service improvement, and demonstrable cost reduction. Submissions from Tennessee, Minnesota, and New York received top honors this year. 

This year Tennessee comes home with the Gold Cronin Award. After winning the Bronze Award last year, Tennessee had their eye on the prize this year. Their nomination Tourist Development – Marketing and Advertising saw favor with the judges as the highest scoring nomination. Tennessee’s Central Procurement Office developed a highly innovative four-tier procurement process to select a contract for traditional, website, and online digital marketing and advertising for tourist development. As a result of increased marketing and advertising through this contract, coupled with Tennessee Tourism Committee activities, Tennessee estimates $1 billion in increased tourism spending from 2013 to 2014.

Minnesota took home the honor of Silver Cronin Award winner with their submission Minnesota’s MMCAP Focus Data Analytics System. The Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy (MMCAP) is a 48 state participating state consortium that spends nearly two billion dollars on pharmaceutical and other related healthcare. Due to the abundance of products being purchased, reporting consolidated information required hours of staff time spent on creating custom reports. With the introductions of MMCAP’s new cloud-based focus data analytics system, the reporting has opened up new opportunities for data-driven procurement decision making as well as drive efficiencies and savings in what is purchased through their contracts.

The Bronze Cronin Award was presented to New York for their nomination New York State Vehicle Marketplace. Their new vehicle marketplace allows the contract user to create a mini-bid in an online portal for exactly what is needed. The marketplace not only provides a minimum base discount on vehicles but has also created enhanced competition between dealers resulting in additional cost savings to the state. The new contract offers unprecedented choice, flexibility, convenience and pricing competition to its contract users.

NASPO also recognized two state nominations as finalists. These finalists were the State of Ohio for their submission Ohio Waste Management Program and the State of Delaware with their submission Maximizing Fleet Resources and Streamlining Operations.

The George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence is recognized as a premier achievement for innovative public procurement and pays homage to a founder and the first president of NASPO, George J. Cronin. Since 1985, the Cronin Awards have recognized ground-breaking state procurement programs and promoted the sharing of ideas between states.


NASPO Recognizes Innovation in State Government Procurement
George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence Recognize Tennessee, Minnesota and New York

LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 30, 2015) - The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) honored three innovative state procurement programs with the George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence at its Annual Conference during the Cronin Club Luncheon held September 29th in Norfolk, Virginia. Nominations were scored based on the criteria of innovation and initiative, transferability, service improvement, and demonstrable cost reduction. Submissions from Tennessee, Minnesota, and New York received top honors this year. 

This year Tennessee comes home with the Gold Cronin Award. After winning the Bronze Award last year, Tennessee had their eye on the prize this year. Their nomination Tourist Development – Marketing and Advertising saw favor with the judges as the highest scoring nomination. Tennessee’s Central Procurement Office developed a highly innovative four-tier procurement process to select a contract for traditional, website, and online digital marketing and advertising for tourist development. As a result of increased marketing and advertising through this contract, coupled with Tennessee Tourism Committee activities, Tennessee estimates $1 billion in increased tourism spending from 2013 to 2014.

Minnesota took home the honor of Silver Cronin Award winner with their submission Minnesota’s MMCAP Focus Data Analytics System. The Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy (MMCAP) is a 48 state participating state consortium that spends nearly two billion dollars on pharmaceutical and other related healthcare. Due to the abundance of products being purchased, reporting consolidated information required hours of staff time spent on creating custom reports. With the introductions of MMCAP’s new cloud-based focus data analytics system, the reporting has opened up new opportunities for data-driven procurement decision making as well as drive efficiencies and savings in what is purchased through their contracts.

The Bronze Cronin Award was presented to New York for their nomination New York State Vehicle Marketplace. Their new vehicle marketplace allows the contract user to create a mini-bid in an online portal for exactly what is needed. The marketplace not only provides a minimum base discount on vehicles but has also created enhanced competition between dealers resulting in additional cost savings to the state. The new contract offers unprecedented choice, flexibility, convenience and pricing competition to its contract users.

NASPO also recognized two state nominations as finalists. These finalists were the State of Ohio for their submission Ohio Waste Management Program and the State of Delaware with their submission Maximizing Fleet Resources and Streamlining Operations.

The George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence is recognized as a premier achievement for innovative public procurement and pays homage to a founder and the first president of NASPO, George J. Cronin. Since 1985, the Cronin Awards have recognized ground-breaking state procurement programs and promoted the sharing of ideas between states.

View the 2015 Submissions and Winners

2015 Award Winners:

Gold Award Winner, State of Tennessee: Tourist Development - Marketing and Advertising
Silver Award Winner, State of Minnesota: Minnesota's MMCAP Focus Data Analytics System
Bronze Award Winner,
State of New York: New York State Vehicle Marketplace
Finalist, 
State of Ohio: Ohio Waste Management Program
Finalist, 
State of Delaware: Maximizing Fleet Resources and Streamlining Operations

Other Nominations:

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

1985-2002

  • 2002: Alaska Long Distance Learning
  • 2001: Idaho Purchasing Modernization Initiative
  • 2000: Utah Vehicle Purchase Program
  • 1999: Ohio Natural Gas Purchasing Program
  • 1998: Missouri PC Prime Vendor Contract
  • 1997: Wisconsin Advantis Credit Bureau Access Program
  • 1996: North Carolina Micro-Computer & Peripherals Contract as Developed and Managed on the Internet
  • 1995: none selected
  • 1994: none selected
  • 1993: Minnesota Document management system
  • 1992: Oregon Vendor information program
  • 1991: Arizona Contract for abatement of underground storage tanks
  • 1990: New York Contract for electronic ballasts
  • 1989: Missouri Pharmacy service contract for correctional facilities
  • 1988: Kansas Freight management systems
  • 1987: West Virginia Natural gas contract
  • 1986: Alaska Video - "A Better Way To Buy"
  • 1985: Missouri Competitive bidding of residential rehabilitation services
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