Please note: Nominations for the George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence are intended for state central procurement offices, and must be submitted by, or with approval from, the NASPO voting member (CPO) within your state. If you have questions about who can submit for the award, please contact Lori Denhart at [email protected]
The submission template provides guidelines that will help you build a strong submission. The evaluation of the Cronin Awards consists of four categories, each one examining a different aspect of the project's impact and each weighed separately to provide an overall score (more details available in the subsections below). Submissions are limited to four pages, although optional supporting material can also be submitted as a separate document when needed to showcase images, examples, or documentation that is too large to fit within the four-page submission itself. Supporting materials should do just that—support and document the statements made and results described in the submission itself.
It is useful to committee members for a submission to begin with a short executive summary/introduction that describes the purpose and scope of the project and gives a brief overview of the implementation process. The introduction should also include a summary statement of the content of each of the four categories and a comment on the results of the project. If there is anything in the submission to which committee members should pay particular attention, it is helpful to mention it in the introduction. This executive summary should not exceed one page and is included as part of the total pages for the submission.
Below are the categories you should ensure are covered within your four page nomination. Using the template above will make this a lot easier.
Resubmittal of past nominations is allowed, however it must meet the following criteria:
The Cronin Awards Committee will review the resubmission justifications to determine whether the submission will be included with those to be scored. If the committee determines the reasons for resubmission are substantial, then the entire document will be reviewed along with the other submissions. If, however, the committee determines, based on the justification, that a particular resubmittal does not merit inclusion in the group to be scored, the resubmittal will not be scored. All states involved with a resubmittal will be notified of the committee's decision to include or exclude their submission from scoring immediately following the committee's decision.
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.
SEVERAL STATES HONORED FOR PROCUREMENT EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION
The Cronin Awards were presented at NASPO’s Annual Conference, September 8-11, in Grand Rapids, MI. The 2019 recipients are:
In order to better manage its contracts, Michigan’s Central Procurement Services (“CPS”) developed a proactive Contract Management program by which it would ensure greater contract compliance by both the State’s agencies and its vendors. At its core, this program builds upon and formalizes the policies for what we should have been doing all along, while adding new processes, policies, and positions to effectuate the needed change. This program is designed to ensure that the State gets the full benefit of its contracts.
The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS), Division of State Purchasing utilizes the Market Analysis and Procurement Strategy (MAPS) process to determine which procurement method to employ and to achieve a best value for Florida. The MAPS process is used in determining if the Department should issue a new, competitive solicitation (purchases exceeding Category II, $35,000), to re-solicit an existing contract, to renew an existing contract or to allow an existing contract to expire. The MAPS processes resemble a research paper which highlights the following sections: background information, the current industry, customer and vendor information, pricing analysis to determine pricing of comparable contracts, risk assessment, special circumstances and a recommendation. The MAPS is an excellent tool for determining past procurement decisions and for determining what course of action is needed for future purchases, always keeping State of Florida customers in mind.
The Minnesota Connected and Automated Vehicle Challenge (CAV Challenge) is a new and flexible procurement process that fosters innovation as the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) procures connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology. MnDOT approached our Office of State Procurement (OSP) with a problem—how could they harness the rapidly-evolving technologies associated with CAV through the procurement process? OSP and MnDOT met, and MnDOT was concerned that the typical narrowly defined requirements in a request for proposal (RFP) would inhibit vendors from submitting real technological innovation with CAV. OSP was wary of making statutory changes specifically for MnDOT and wanted to preserve the values of fair and open competition in the procurement process. Could we work within the statute? Could we preserve fair and open competition while helping MnDOT lead in CAV technology? Through collaboration we determined that answer is yes and the CAV Challenge was born. The CAV Challenge is open for vendors to apply to at any time. Proposals are reviewed every other month. Rather than narrowly defined requirements, MnDOT lists broad goals in the RFP, and vendors are scored to the extent their project aligns with those goals.
The Operational Services Division (OSD) needed a tool that would simplify the reporting process and ensure the integrity of vendor-reported quarterly Massachusetts customer sales activity data and provide Business Intelligence (BI) analysis and defensible reporting of that data. This tool would provide an efficient, secure, and reliable means of collecting, managing, storing, and reporting on sales activity against statewide contracts, replacing a spreadsheet-based manual reporting collection process. The focus was on leveraging a highly configurable Software as a Service tool to replace the current Vendor Report Management spreadsheets.
New York State Procurement Services establishes more than 1,300 centralized statewide contracts for commodities, technology, and services valued at approximately $22 billion for use by state agencies, municipalities, and other public and some nonprofit entities. As centralized procurement, we are tasked to acquire commodities and services at competitive, volume-discounted/reduced prices while complying with statutory requirements and ensuring the strategic effectiveness for all procurements. Two primary goals of centralized procurement are to 1) increase the percentage of authorized users buying from centralized contracts, and 2) act as a single customer to the vendor community on behalf of all state purchasers.