NIGP Consulting RFI: A Case Of Too Close For Comfort? by Jon Hansen

Posted on April 25, 2015


As reported in my last post Was The NIGP Competitive RFI For Their Consulting Arm Really Competitive?, I discovered that one of the six respondents to the NIGP’s “competitive” RFI had a serious case of uneasiness (RFP Solutions), while another (IRIS ) has apparently disappeared off the face of the earth.

While I continue my search for the missing Sanjeev Drego from IRIS, in my efforts to connect with Purchasing Outsource’s Jill Klaskin-Press and Tom Blaine, there seems to be another interesting twist to an already bizarre story.

For example, the company through which both Ms. Klaskin-Press and Mr. Blaine responded to the NIGP RFI, is no longer around.  In fact, if you go to the Purchasing Outsource website you are taken to a Vistaprint page that tells you We are sorry, the address you entered is not a working page on our site.  

What is even more interesting is that Ms. Klaskin-Press’ LinkedIn profile shows that besides her involvement with Purchasing Outsource, she was also at the same time President of JPK Consulting Group, Inc.

According to her bio on the JPK Consulting Group website, Ms. Klaskin-Press (and I quote) is an active participant in The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) at both the Chapter and National levels since 1985.  She was a founding member of the Greater Miami Chapter of NIGP, serving as its President from 1996 to 1999.  She served as Chair of the NIGP’s Policy and Position Committee in 2010 and served on the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council (UPPCC) Board of Examiners from 2007-2010.

If you take the time to check out her site’s photo gallery, you will also find a number of pictures including one with none other than NIGP Chief Executive Rick Grimm.

No hard feelings re losing the RFI to Periscope

                   No hard feelings re losing the RFI to Periscope

So what does this all mean?

Once again, and given the importance and the influence that offering consulting services under the NIGP banner represents, you have to wonder why two of the six companies who responded to the NIGP RFI are nowhere to be found, with a third too skittish to say anything more than they responded to an RFI request.

No disrespect, but these aren’t exactly the level of players you would expect to come to the RFI table given what was at stake.

The fact that there is a prior long-standing relationship between Jill Klaskin-Press and the NIGP (Rick Grimm included), one might be inclined to wonder if the latter stacked the deck with RFI respondents who they knew would not match up to Periscope.

Of course Ms. Klaskin-Press does not appear to have walked away a total loser.  Despite falling short with her and Mr. Blaine’s RFI submission in 2012, she was the “Winner of the 2013 Spirit of NIGP Award.”

By the way, and just as an interesting aside, both Klaskin-Press and Grimm were Past Presidents of the Greater Miami Chapter of the NIGP.  Obviously they share a comfortable relationship.

However, when it comes to this purported competitive RFI, is it a relationship that is too close for comfort?

I would think that almost all procurement professionals in both the public and private sectors, would unanimously raise their collective eyebrows at the NIGP’s selection and/or acceptance of Periscope for both the consultancy and Code stewardship.

The only thing that I am left to wonder is why would any branch of any government continue to send their buyers to the NIGP for certification.  They obviously do not practice what they preach.

(Editor’s Note: Despite several attempts, I was not able to get through to Klaskin-Press.  I will however continue to try and talk with her, as well as reach out to Mr. Blaine.  Hopefully they will be more responsive than Mr. Crokett.)

poisonous tree2

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