Georgia Ranks First in Nation Among Public Procurement Departments, Report States

Georgia State Procurement Office

Georgia has the top performing state procurement office in the nation, according to a recent ranking by the Governing Institute, a public sector-focused research and education organization. The Southern state ranked first overall and took the top spot in four specific categories: contract administration, use of technology, organizational culture and leadership, and pre-sourcing and procurement planning.

The Governing Institute pointed to Georgia’s training programs as one of the reasons the state’s procurement organization ranks highest. For instance, the state developed a contract training program in 2014 that helps procurement practitioners in its central office and in its state agencies manage contracts more smoothly.

The overall ranking took into account how well the procurement office operates, its use of technology, how it engages with vendors and how it works with other state agencies. Virginia took the No. 2 spot in the overall ranking. Minnesota and Utah came in third and fourth and Massachusetts and Ohio tied for fifth place. Virginia also grabbed the top spots in the specific categories for information technology procurement and workforce, training and certification. While not in the top-five overall states for best run procurement offices, Michigan did win the top spot in the performance measures category of the Governing Institute ranking.

The Institute said it assessed state purchasing processes in the 39 state procurement offices that participated in a survey. Similar themes were identified in the ranking among the top offices. One was an effort to modernize technology and use it in innovative ways. For example, Georgia has a team of “mathletes” analyzing spend data to better structure future solicitations and hopefully lock in better contract prices.

Another common theme among the top state offices was that they all had support from top-level public officials, including the governor of the state, who sees the procurement department as a way to help the state meets its goals, the Governing Institute said.

Spend Matters’ home state of Illinois did not make the list of top 25 state procurement organizations. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner did recently announce, however, his budget proposal includes plans to streamline the state’s procurement process, a move he said would save more than $500 million a year.

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