About The Award

The Cronin Award is intended to serve two purposes. First, of course, it seeks to recognize outstanding state procurement initiatives—providing some well-deserved appreciation to a State and its procurement personnel that have undertaken and accomplished projects that result in distinct benefits to the State in economy, efficiency, delivery of services or some combination of each.

Second, by calling attention to these efforts, the Cronin Award serves as a means to disseminate and to encourage adoption of these initiatives by other States. In this way, Cronin awardees and finalists create opportunities for improving the procurement function nationwide, which can multiply those initial benefits many times over.

Submissions are no longer being accepted for 2017.

Please note: Nominations for the George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence are intended for state central procurement offices, and must be submitted by, or with approval from, the NASPO voting member (CPO) within your state. If you have questions about who can submit for the award, please contact Jordan Henson at jhenson@naspo.org


Start Here with the Submission Guidelines

 

Click Here to download the new submission template and get started on your nomination!

Use this template to help guide you as you prepare your submission for review by the Cronin Awards Committee.


These submission guidelines will also help you build a strong submission. The evaluation of the Cronin Awards consists of four categories, each one examining a different aspect of the project's impact and each weighed separately to provide an overall score (more details available in the subsections below). Submissions are limited to four pages, although optional supporting material can also be submitted as a separate document when needed to showcase images, examples, or documentation that is too large to fit within the four-page submission itself. Supporting materials should do just that—support and document the statements made and results described in the submission itself.

Introduction to Submission / Executive Summary


It is useful to committee members for a submission to begin with a short executive summary/introduction that describes the purpose and scope of the project and gives a brief overview of the implementation process. The introduction should also include a summary statement of the content of each of the four categories and a comment on the results of the project. If there is anything in the submission to which committee members should pay particular attention, it is helpful to mention it in the introduction. This executive summary should not exceed one page and is included as part of the total pages for the submission.

Below are the categories you should ensure are covered within your four page nomination. Using the template above will make this a lot easier.


Scoring Categories



Innovation


(30 points) – unusual or unique approach, scale, or magnitude of effort; conceptual originality. This category should answer the question, “What makes this project stand out as a notable contribution to the procurement function?” It is intended to capture the nature and impact of changes in your state operations, but it also rewards path-breaking ideas or efforts that may not have been considered or attempted elsewhere. Because substantial originality is so rare, this category offers the highest potential point total to a submission that is able to point out differences and to distinguish itself from closely similar projects completed or underway in other states.

Transferability


(25 points) – primarily an external focus that assesses the practical ability by other states to replicate or use as a benchmark, considering expected resources required and generality of the legal or structural environment in which the entry was implemented. A project or initiative that can be used broadly by other states as a template will receive a higher score than one with benefits that appear to depend on the particular geography, environment, governmental structure or particular needs of the submitting state. In some cases, it may be necessary to explain how an apparent state-bound effort can be adapted for greater transferability.


Service Improvement


(25 points) – an internal focus that assesses the extent to which transactions or service delivery is made more effective; includes consideration of nature of stakeholder involvement by agencies/users in development & implementation of program or project; change management strategy sufficient to promote adoption. Every purchasing organization provides a service to other state agencies, and this category is intended to assess results—the impact of the project on improving the delivery of those services. More weight is given to specifics than to generalities. When metrics are provided, it is beneficial to include a short (non-technical) explanation of how those metrics were produced. Also, committee members look favorably on descriptions of the input, participation and adoption by stakeholders.


Cost Reduction


(20 points) – validated or potential for cost reduction, including considerations of efficiency. Although cost reduction may not be quite as highly weighted as the other three categories, well-documented estimates or projections of savings is often the determining factor between otherwise generally equal submissions. Cost savings figures are given more weight when they are objective and include an explanation of how they were derived. Although increases in efficiency are less open to precise calculation, the manner or method by which the increase is realized should be described. In general, undocumented claims of very large cost reductions are less likely to receive higher scores than smaller, but significant and well-supported cost savings estimates.

 

Submission Form Closed


We are no longer accepting submissions for the 2017 Cronin Awards. The last day to submit was Friday, July 14. Stay tuned for information on the year's finalists.

 

George J. Cronin was the State Purchasing Agent for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1925 to 1957, serving under 11 different governors. He was known as a trail blazer in the public procurement field and established the ground rules and operative procedures for centralized procurement within the Commonwealth. He was the first president of NASPO and is the namesake of the NASPO Cronin Club and the annual George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence.

NASPO was founded in 1947 at a meeting of state purchasing officials in Chicago, Illinois. The meeting was originally designed to seek ways and means for states to secure property distributed under the Surplus War Property Disposal Act of 1944. While at the meeting, Cronin urged the formation of an ongoing, formal organization of state purchasing officials as an effective vehicle to address specific public procurement issues and provide a network for resolving problems. The other attendees agreed and elected Cronin as president. He remained active in NASPO activities after his retirement in 1957.

The Cronin Club evolved from an idea presented by John Dyer of Maine to form an organization of NASPO past presidents and name it after Mr. Cronin. The group met for the first Cronin Club Luncheon at the NASPO Annual Conference in 1970. In 1974, the Cronin Club opened the luncheon to any NASPO member who wished to participate instead of restricting attendance to the past presidents and it became an established feature of the NASPO Annual Conference.

The Cronin Club decided to sponsor a “cost reduction” incentive program in 1977. This created interest among the states and encouraged them to share cost saving ideas with other states. The program has evolved over the past 30 years and adapted to the changing procurement landscape. The George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence is recognized as a premier achievement for innovative public procurement and pays homage to a founder and the first president of NASPO for his devotion to improving governmental purchasing.

SEVERAL STATES HONORED FOR PROCUREMENT EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION

ATLANTA, GA. (October 8, 2017) – A cloud-based procurement system developed by the state of Utah has received the Gold Award, the highest honor in the George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence, presented annually by the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO).

The Cronin Awards recognize innovative and exemplary state procurement initiatives while also acknowledging state procurement personnel who have undertaken and accomplished projects resulting in distinct benefits to a state’s economy and efficient delivery of services. By calling attention to these efforts, the Cronin Awards serve as a means to disseminate and encourage adoption of these initiatives by other states. Cronin awardees and finalists create opportunities for adoption of best practices, improving the procurement function nationwide.

The Cronin Awards were presented at NASPO’s Annual Conference, October 8-9, in Atlanta. The 2017 recipients are:

GOLD AWARD: State of Utah, ValuePoint Cloud Solutions Procurement

Utah led a multi-state effort for its Cloud Solutions Procurement, which was presented to local governments moving away from a hosted information technology infrastructure to one where software, infrastructure and other sophisticated platforms are accessible with browsers. This process for acquiring IT resources turns the traditional method of acquisition on its head, providing key benefits in cost savings and efficiency, and addressing critical issues like data integrity, ownership and security.

SILVER AWARD: New York State, Information Technology Manufacturer-Based Umbrella Contracts

Facing ever-evolving demands of efficiency and cost savings from existing contracts, the New York State Office of General Services (OGS), Procurement Services, positioned themselves to address the matters with an intriguing concept of “umbrella” contracting.

OGS collaborated with key stakeholders—from state and local chief information officers to vendors—to create a broad-based offering of goods and services. Whether it is project-based IT services, manufacturer-based, or a large distributor that sells a variety of third party hardware and software needed by users, OGS offers an efficient procurement solution through umbrella contracting.

BRONZE AWARD: State of Tennessee, Collaborative Value Development

The State of Tennessee adapted a collaborative contracting model developed at the University of Tennessee, incorporating key elements of the model into the first use of this methodology in the public sector. With a complex solicitation on the horizon, Tennessee saw an opportunity to try out the new process, Collaborative Value Development (CVD), which led to significant cost savings, as well as improved flexibilty and transparency for the state.

FINALIST: State of GeorgiaAmazon Business in Team Georgia Marketplace

Georgia’s spend analytics data showed that millions of dollars were being spent each year to procure needed items through Amazon. The Department of Administrative Services, State Purchasing Division (SPD) recognized the efficiencies to be gained by eliminating the Amazon Prime accounts that went along with these purchases. Additionally, they saw the need to establish controls while also maintaining flexibility. To allow for these controls to be in place, they implemented an Amazon for Business catalog within the Team Georgia Marketplace™, the state’s virtual catalog application integrated within the State’s ERP system.

FINALIST: State of Florida, Concierge Service for Contract Education

Florida’s Department of Management Services Division (DMS) created a State Purchasing Concierge program to provide training to Florida state agencies on how to use federal government tools, revamped its website to provide instructions on accessing General Services Administration (GSA) schedules, and established a Concierge Team to assist customers.  This program, a partnership with GSA, involves direct participation of GSA representatives, a DMS and GSA-shared communication system, and rapid quality assurance feedback to GSA.

CRONIN HERITAGE AWARD: Commonwealth of Virginia, eVA

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Cronin Awards program, the Cronin Heritage Award was created to recognize the history of excellence that the Cronin Awards represent. The NASPO membership was asked to select the past Cronin Gold Award winner they felt embodied the most innovative procurement initiative in the past decade.

This special, one-time Cronin Award was presented to the Commonwealth of Virginia for its 2014 nomination, eVA Mobile Apps.

Virginia was the first state to launch a mobile app, eVA Mobile 4 Business. This mobile app brings bid opportunities and solicitations to suppliers and the general public, giving them immediate, real-time access to thousands of business opportunities published every year, while providing increased visibility into how state government spends taxpayer dollars.

2017 Award Winners

Gold Award Winner, State of Utah, ValuePoint Cloud Solutions Procurement

Silver Award Winner, State of New York, IT Based Umbrella Contracts

Bronze Award Winner, State of Tennessee, Collaborative Value Development

Finalist, State of Georgia, Amazon Business Marketplace

Finalist, State of Florida, Concierge Service for Contract Education

Cronin Heritage Award, Commonwealth of Virginia, eVA Mobile Apps - View Webinar

Other Nominations
State of California, Benchmark Sustainable Programs

State of California, Purchasing Authority Accreditation

State of Colorado, Procurement Modernization

State of Connecticut, Save State Dollars Using Surplus

State of Deleware, eSTAR Time Attendance Tracking

State of Florida, Certified Contract Negotiator Training

State of Florida, Office of Supplier Diversity: Expanding Opportunities for Small Businesses

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Advanced Vehicle Technology Equipment, Supplies and Services

State of Minnesota, Increasing Diversity & Inclusion

State of Ohio, Agency Contact A+ Service

State of Ohio, Requisite Review Process

State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Procurement Summit

State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Procurement Training

State of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Cooperative Procurement Outreach

State of Oregon, Parks & Recreation Equipment and Related Services

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, GO TIME! Save $100 Million

State of Tennessee, Dept. of Corrections - Food Services

State of Tennessee, Facility Protection Services

State of Washington, Exceeding Governor Carbon Reduction Goals Through Innovative Electric Vehicle Solutions

State of Wisconsin, Breaking the Barriers: Agency and Customer Relations Best Practices 

State of Wisconsin, Professional Development in Software Licensing

State of Wisconsin, Breaking the Barriers: Vendor Relations Best Practices 

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

1985-2002

  • 2002: Alaska Long Distance Learning
  • 2001: Idaho Purchasing Modernization Initiative
  • 2000: Utah Vehicle Purchase Program
  • 1999: Ohio Natural Gas Purchasing Program
  • 1998: Missouri PC Prime Vendor Contract
  • 1997: Wisconsin Advantis Credit Bureau Access Program
  • 1996: North Carolina Micro-Computer & Peripherals Contract as Developed and Managed on the Internet
  • 1995: none selected
  • 1994: none selected
  • 1993: Minnesota Document management system
  • 1992: Oregon Vendor information program
  • 1991: Arizona Contract for abatement of underground storage tanks
  • 1990: New York Contract for electronic ballasts
  • 1989: Missouri Pharmacy service contract for correctional facilities
  • 1988: Kansas Freight management systems
  • 1987: West Virginia Natural gas contract
  • 1986: Alaska Video - "A Better Way To Buy"
  • 1985: Missouri Competitive bidding of residential rehabilitation services
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