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Organization Wants to Set Standards for Gov’t Procurement Workers

Photo: Anton Gvozdikov

Despite all the news lately about government acquisition, from recent congressional hearings about the Defense Contract Audit Agency to sweeping federal IT reform, one organization says there are a lack of standards in the field of public procurement.

In an interview with Federal News Radio, Rick Grimm, chief executive of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, said government purchasers — representing the world’s biggest customer — should have a set of standards, or what NIGP calls “principles and practices of public procurement.”

The standards are split into values — such as accountability, impartiality, transparency — and  “guiding principles.”

Grimm said they were purposefully designed with public procurement workers in mind.

“Even though it’s led by NIGP, they’re not NIGP standards and practices,” he said. “They’re for the profession; they’re part of the public domain.”

And, the organization —  founded by 1930s New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, known for his reformer reputation — wants to involve the public and other stakeholders in the formation of further procurement standards.

The proposed standards are available online as well as for public comment, where Grimm said, the public could “kick the tires on this thing.”

“Because it is a public standard, we want to make sure it’s as much of a collaborative process as possible,” he told Federal News Radio.

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  1. See Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 1.101 for Guiding Principles
    in place for over 15 years (48 CFR 1)

    See also NCMA Code of Ethics (www.ncmahq.org )

  2. As Mr. Cooper referred to, the FAR is clear and convincing in its guidance for providing the principles for Government contracting professionals. There is not need to reinvent the wheel, only perhaps strengthen the oversight functions for good governance for both civilian and government agencies.

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