NASPO 2009 Survey of Purchasing Practices Provides an Interesting Lens Through which to View a Buy American Exemption

Posted on October 14, 2009


I just today received my copy of The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) 2009 Survey of State Government Purchasing Practices.

As the opening page of the report indicates, “the information contained within the CD-ROM is an invaluable tool” provided to assist NASPO’s partners and constituents in gaining a better “understanding” of the “nature of the buying behavior of state and purchasing organizations.”

While the report has certainly been an invaluable tool in years past, I believe that it has taken on an even greater significance as the debate regarding the Buy American issue and the meaning of a Canadian exemption through reciprocal access has created some concern on both sides of the 49th parallel.

Never before has procurement’s role in state government enterprise decisions carried such weight as a result of the State budget crisis, recent economic downturn and of course the federal stimulus package.

Consisting of 30 Sections ranging from Green Purchasing and Construction to Protests and Claims, and the all-important Preference Policies, 45 of the 50 States participated in the 2009 Survey.

Although the “main objectives of the State purchasing office remains the same,” 1) ensure best pricing, 2) provide for open and fair competition, and 3) promote ethical, efficient, and effective public procurement, one cannot overlook the influence of the economy and markets within which we now operate.

Over the next few weeks I will closely examine a number of the key areas of interest that are more directly linked to a Buy American exemption.

This Friday, I will focus on Section 19: Preference Policies, and in particular the fact that the survey reported that “the use and breadth of preference policies  seems to be increasing.”  Specifically in areas that include a legal preference for in-state bidders, reciprocal preference laws, and vendor based price preferences.

It is also worth noting that twenty-one states presently have “Buy American” laws which according to the study “affect public procurement.”

In the meantime, remember to join me on Wednesday, October 14th as I welcome US public sector expert author, speaker and consultant Judy Bradt on the PI Window on Business Show at 12:30 PM EDT to discuss ways for suppliers to win contracts at the state and municipal levels.

Also remember to mark down in your calendars Monday October 19th at 12:30 PM EDT, when I will be joined by Maine’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Jacobson to talk about that State’s view on the Buy American Policy and the opportunities for Canadian-based suppliers.

Purchase a Copy of the NASPO 2009 Survey

To obtain your copy of the NASPO 2009 Survey, click on the CD image below.

The NASPO 2009 Survey of State Government Purchasing Practices

The NASPO 2009 Survey of State Government Purchasing Practices