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State strategies for smarter IT procurement

What: “State Procurement Negotiations: Working Together to Reform and Transform,” a report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and the National Association of State Procurement Officials

Why: Most state CIOs and CPOs believe their current procurement processes are providing cost savings and the best value to the state, but there is some debate whether their acquisitions are the most innovative forms of technology.

Findings: When state officials negotiate IT contracts, the majority of the discussion revolves around the scope of work, pricing, terms and conditions, liability and insurance, roles and responsibilities, timelines and delivery specifications. However, most of the negotiations occur during the award or post-award stages of the procurement process; half of these officials said both legislative and policy changes would be needed to begin using negotiations during the IT procurement process.

Based on survey results, a CPO and CIO task force issued recommendations to help state IT officials work together related to the centralization of IT procurement, procurement process partnerships, policy and legislation and the relationships between state CIOs and CPOs. Those recommendations include:

  • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities in the procurement process with the ability to identify address key challenges and proactively collaborate to plan and streamline each IT procurement.
  • Centralize the procurement management process under one umbrella to increase the leverage of the state’s buy-in power and allow the state to save time and money.
  • Establish a point of contact in both the CPO and CIO offices to promote better communication and workflow.
  • Use iterative and non-waterfall procurement strategies when appropriate to improve procurement cycles, add flexibility and reduce risk.
  • Explore small scale IT procurement negotiations to build the case for widespread adoption.

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at sfriedman@gcn.com or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

Click here for previous articles by Friedman.


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