NIGP Enterprise Sponsor Program: A clear example of blatant influence peddling at its worst? by Jon Hansen

Posted on April 22, 2015


Given everything that has come to light regarding the NIGP’s relationship with Periscope and the resulting #CodeGate scandal, Page 6 of the association’s Enterprise Sponsor Program raises some serious questions.

Specifically the statement “This Program allows your company to lock-out competitors in your primary market segment.” (NOTE: not only is Periscope a sponsor, but Periscope’s President for the NIGP Code and Consulting Services is listed as a contact. Why would he be part of a program that is designed to “lock-out competitors? Isn’t the code, as claimed by NIGP Chief Executive Rick Grimm, equally accessible to all?) – Slideshare Post

I had to read, and then re-read page 6 of the NIGP Enterprise Sponsor Brochure several times, as I wasn’t sure that I was comprehending the words.

Could the NIGP really be prostituting itself and its membership to the highest bidder?  The term influence peddling immediately comes to mind.

How could a not-for-profit organization leverage its position and influence within the public sector to grant exclusive access to its large membership base . . . to a select few?

Page 6 from the NIGP Enterprise Sponsor Program

Page 6 from the NIGP Enterprise Sponsor Program (Click image to enlarge)

An even more disturbing question, is how the association could allow Periscope Holdings – including Periscope’s NIGP Code & Consulting Services – to be a sponsor.  This is a company who possesses the stewardship of the NIGP Code upon which 33 States and countless other levels of government rely, to run their procurement departments. Who is the competition that the keepers of the Code want to lock out? eProcurement vendors?

NIGP Sponsors Program List2

I also wonder how much money the NIGP is charging organizations to gain access to this exclusive club which, according to the brochure, is limited to “15 leading companies.”

Can you imagine if governments ran their RFP’s in similar fashion?  This program as it is structured, is the antithesis of everything for which public sector procurement is supposed to stand.

Instead of capitalizing on its influence in the public sector to fill its own coffers, shouldn’t the NIGP be looking for ways to extend and expand the relationship between the government and the business community as a whole?

I can only wonder what individuals such as Lou Spangler, Jim Brinkman and D’Arcy Roper would say about the above program, as well as everything else that has come to light regarding the NIGP’s conduct under Grimm’s leadership.

While there are more layers to this story that I will cover in future posts, one thing is clear . . . the #CodeGate scandal does not appear to be a one time aberration or single lapse in judgement.  It instead appears to be part of a pattern that reflects questionable values and dubious intents.

In a related story . . . why would Periscope Holdings be looking to obtain by whatever means necessary, proprietary and confidential information related to SmartProcure‘s operations, and what if anything, does it have to do with #CodeGate?



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