NASPO History

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.

  • 1944

    First president

    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.

  • 1947

    First meeting

    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.

  • 1993

    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.

  • 1996

    First website

    NASPO goes online in 1996. Members could surf the internet for association news, publications and the Database of Recycled Commodities.

  • 1997

    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.”

  • 2011

    NASPO Network launches

    In 2011, the NASPO Network, an online community for members to ask questions, exchange information and instantaneously share solutions was launched.

  • 2013

    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.

  • 2014

    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.

Our Vision

Advancing public procurement through leadership, excellence and integrity.

NASPO ValuePoint provides the highest standard of excellence in public cooperative contracting.

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