The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), Inc. was formally established on January 29, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois.
NASPO is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing public procurement through leadership, excellence, and integrity. It is made up of the directors of the central purchasing offices in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories of the United States. NASPO is an organization that helps its members achieve success as public procurement leaders through promotion of best practices, education, professional development, research, and innovative procurement strategies.
George Cronin was elected as the first president of NASPO on January 29, 1944. Legend has it that Major Cronin convened a number of officials in his Palmer House room to make his proposal. Reality suggests it may have been the hotel bar.
State purchasing officials met informally in Chicago, Illinois to plan strategies to ensure that state governments would receive a fair share of property distributed under the Surplus War Property Disposal Act of 1944. In the course of their discussions, George Cronin, Massachusetts, 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.
Western States Contracting Alliance established
In 1993, the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA), formed through an agreement between the chief procurement officers from 15 western states.
NASPO goes online in 1996. Members could surf the internet for association news, publications and the Database of Recycled Commodities.
First delegation to a foreign country
In October 1997, NASPO sent its first delegation to a foreign country. Several NASPO members went to Amsterdam to present to Dutch business officials on “how to do business with the states.”
NASPO Network launches
In 2011, the NASPO Network, an online community for members to ask questions, exchange information and instantaneously share solutions was launched.
NASPO ValuePoint formed
In 2013, NASPO formed a subsidiary, NASPO ValuePoint, to manage its multi-state cooperative purchasing on a national level. NASPO ValuePoint is an outgrowth of WSCA, as well as the cooperative procurement efforts by other NASPO regions.
Procurement U launches
In 2014, NASPO launched Procurement U, a comprehensive educational program created to deliver high-quality, low-cost training and resources to support the professional development and certification process for state procurement professionals.