Missouri Award Protest: The Gettysburg of Public Sector eProcurement by Jon Hansen

Posted on March 31, 2015


CONTENTION #2 – Within their offer Perfect Commerce made false claims regarding contractual rights with the NIGP Code . . . we contend that Perfect Commerce is non-responsive (non-compliant) as they have indicated affirmative responses that violate existing contractual agreements between Perfect Commerce and Periscope. Please refer to the attached letter (pages 7 to 9)  from NIGP to Perfect Commerce, signed by the NIGP Chief Executive Officer and the NIGP Code and Consulting Services President, for more details.  

Missouri Bid NIGP Letter

There is a saying with which I am sure you are familiar which contends that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I can think of no other situation in which the above has been so clearly demonstrated, than it has with the recent challenge by Persicope of Missouri’s decision to award the contract to implement an eProcurement system to Perfect Commerce.

Back in December – well before the Missouri story broke – I had suggested in a post that Periscope’s merger with BidSync  represented “the humble beginnings of a major move in the world of public sector eProcurement.”  Here we are in March, and it is safe to say that the Missouri contention is the public sector’s Gettysburg in terms of eProcurement contract awards.

Think about it for a moment as you read the letter from the NIGP.

Here you have an organization that has inexplicably opened itself up to a major PR crisis by clearly standing behind a single eProcurement vendor being Periscope, to whom they have given full custodianship over the ubiquitous NIGP Commodity/Services Code.

Dictator Race Scene

This brings to mind the scene from the 2012 movie The Dictator in which the “protagonist” shoots the other competitors in a 100 yard race so that he can victoriously cross the finish line alone.

What is to prevent Periscope from employing similar tactics going forward to challenge all contract awards?  In other words, NIGP’s support of Periscope by threatening – in writing mind you – to pull the winning vendor’s licensing rights to the code, is tantamount to giving Periscope the only gun in the field.

It just doesn’t make any sense.  Especially given that such an overtly aggressive chastisement of Perfect Commerce in support of a competing vendor, draws into question the NIGPs own creditability. Whether fair or not, some might conclude that the NIGP has something to gain – financially or otherwise – with every Periscope win.

This of course is where the Parthenon Capital Group comes into play.  For those unfamiliar with Parthenon, they are the equity firm about whom I also wrote in December, because they were/are the money behind Periscope and that company’s merger with BidSync.

Check out my post titled Who are those guys? Are these the people who will have the most influence on public sector procurement in the coming years?  These are ultimately the people who are pulling the strings of Periscope, BidSync and maybe even the NIGP.

If things go as planned, Parthenon may eventually add the eProcurement public sector market to this list.


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