Why the procurement world should take note of Bernie Sanders’ closing statement

Posted on April 18, 2016


While I am not a Bernie Sanders supporter – as a Canadian I can’t obviously vote in the US election anyway – I have experienced first hand the uneven advantage that money brings to a select few (McDonald’s, SciQuest and Lady Justice: Why The Canadian Judicial System Fails Its Citizens and, NIGP Counsel: Non-profit organization will not release the findings from the forensic audit . . .).

Money can silence dissenting voices, and quash the pursuit of truth – or at least it can be used in an attempt to do so.

This is why Sanders’ closing statement stood out for me. If you haven’t already, you can watch it on YouTube through the following link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3EK3rtAwmM

Truth, justice and with it the opportunity for all, is slowly disappearing within a “too big to fail” world. This is not a question of political partisanship, because wealth is not limited to Republican or Democrat – or for that matter any party. It is a realization and a confirmation that “We The People” must awaken from our slumbered apathy and retake the promises that belong to all of us . . . the promises associated with our better selves.

In terms of the procurement world, this objective is no less pressing.

NIGP Lawyer Excerpt2

Take for example the NIGP’s refusal to release the findings from an internal audit.

As an organization who is charged with educating and empowering procurement professionals within the public sector, how can they withhold information that would either exonerate or condemn their relationships with strategic partners?

How could the NIGP expect to maintain any semblance of creditability? Especially with the up and coming Millennials who, according to countless studies, value ethics and have a greater sense of social responsibility than previous generations.

What about the seasoned professionals who have had access to and seen the audit? Eventually the information will come out – it always does. How will they explain to their employers and those with whom they work (and in many cases lead), their silence. Will their having signed a Non-Disclosure agreement be enough justification for having turned a blind eye to the truth – whatever that truth may be?

I am not just talking about individuals here.

What about organizations such as the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO)?

NASPO has a working relationship with the NIGP? How can they continue, given the association’s lack of transparency? Isn’t transparency something that governments are supposed to be championing? Unless of course NASPO views transparency as a nice sentiment versus a realistic practice? Perhaps NASPO has forgotten about Missouri and the resulting #CodeGate scandal?

Beyond a fear of what could be interpreted as a veiled threat from the NIGPs high priced lawyers i.e. “Thus, we strongly discourage you from attempting to solicit this information from individual members of the NIGP Governing Board, past and present,” I believe that the acceptance of the non-profit association’s continuing reticence, is a symptom of a much greater malaise that envelopes our industry.

But the mere existence of a malaise is not what will condemn our profession. It is our apathy and unwillingness to step forward and to take a stand. It is our unwillingness to go into the darker corners of our industry, where not only the unpleasantness of our weaknesses, but the promises for our greater opportunities reside, to expose that which hinders our progression into legitimacy.

But then again, maybe I am wrong.

Maybe you look at what you do as being merely a job. Something that pays the bills – a means to your financial end. If it is, why rock the boat? Even if you wanted to do something, you can’t change it . . . can you?

This is ultimately a question that only you can answer.

As for me, I know there are things that are seriously wrong with our industry that need to be addressed. So I am going to ask the tough questions and pursue the truth for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.


For those who want to support the cause for truth and justice, you can, by making a small donation through the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/bloggerfund

You can use the following link to access the complete NIGP #CodeGate Post Archive; https://procureinsights.wordpress.com/nigp-codegate/

You can also follow my coverage of this story on Twitter using the hashtags #missbid and #CodeGate


Posted in: Commentary