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        It’s been 70 years since George Cronin envisioned the creation of a professional organization of state purchasing officials focused on effectively addressing the issues of public procurement.

  • Today, the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) is leading the way in the advancement of public procurement, and assisting members in achieving success as public procurement professionals remains at the very core of what we do.

  • You, our members, have supported NASPO from its inception, and continue that support as we celebrate our 70th anniversary. We hope you enjoy this remembrance of the past 70 years, and are proud of how far we have come as an organization. In September at the Annual Conference, a more comprehensive, printed version of the history will be available for members as a keepsake.



During the early years of NASPO, leaders kept their eyes on the integrity of the task -- the application and implementation of fundamentals while combating forces and actions that could erode integrity, such as collusive bidding, "most-favored customer" pricing, fair trade laws, the federal multiple award philosophy, interpretation of the Robinson-Patman Act, and geographic preferences. During this period, NASPO identified itself and established the best principles and practices of public purchasing.

  • State and local governments were competing in the distribution of war assets at that time, which may have influenced the decision to create NASPO as an independent organization. It became one of the first affiliates of the Council of State Governments (CSG).
  • The first meeting of the National Association of State Purchasing Officials was held in Chicago, January 31-February 1, 1947.
  • George Cronin was elected the first president of NASPO.
  • NASPO published the first edition of Purchasing by the States in 1947.

George Cronin
  • Two substantive resolutions adopted by NASPO dealt with federal war surplus property.
  • NASPO met twice in 1948, which accounts for the numerical designation of annual meetings that exceeds the number of years elapsed since the founding.
  • Six of the first 15 annual meetings were held in two states at sites with strong tourist orientation. During the early years, two or three vendors largely underwrote the social programs, permitting a host state to tie a bow on a shoestring budget. Over time, in the face of growing concern at the appearance of impropriety in such a relationship, the practice was discontinued. Host states extended invitations through their governors’ offices to ensure appropriations to defray costs.
  • NASPO published a special report in 1949, a compendium of the responses to the first edition of Purchasing by the States.
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