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


(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.


(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.


LEXINGTON, KY – October 11, 2016 – The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) presented its annual George Cronin Awards at its national conference last month in Minneapolis. The awards recognize innovation and efficiency in state procurement.

The state of Tennessee’s Department of General Services received the Gold, highest honor in the competition. Tennessee’s award recognized the state’s effort to streamline its awarding of radio contracts. The state consolidated multiple contracts into a single, innovative contract that allows for technology evolution without contract amendment, and balances user needs while ensuring highly competitive pricing. The effort has saved the state $2.5 million since the effort began in 2014.

“We had an opportunity to enhance public service, provide up to date technology and save the state money in the process,” said Richard Kotler, Category Specialist with the state’s Department of General Services.

The Silver or Second Place Cronin Award was presented to the state of Wisconsin for its IT Procurement Best Practices Playbook. The playbook offers a new approach to professional development in state procurement and is an innovative way to address procurement reform. Several football themed “plays” in the book address cost savings such as “Don’t Let the Anchor Drag You Down,” and “Sandbag (Excessive) Revenue Streams.”

The Third Place winner was the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which partnered with neighboring states Connecticut, New York, and Vermont to re-bid their environmentally preferable cleaning products and programs. While green cleaning products were traditionally more expensive, the effort generated discounts to the buyers of an average 20 percent. For example, a $9 million contract, would reflect average savings to the state of $1.9 million per year.

The State of Wisconsin was recognized as an additional finalist for its state employee training program on negotiation skills. The state developed a one-day interactive negotiation course that teaches elements of planning, techniques “at the table,” and the closing phases of negotiation. In addition to the professional development of purchasing officers, the program has saved the state more than $41,000 in training costs.

Additionally, NJSTART, a state of the art eprocurement system developed and implemented by the state of New Jersey earlier this year was also recognized as a finalist. NJSTART has already attracted more than 13, 000 vendors and has consolidated all procurement activities into a one-stop shop. The state estimates that NJSTART will reduce the state’s purchasing costs from $1.2 million per year to $875,000.

The Cronin Award serves as a means to disseminate and to encourage adoption of breakthrough initiatives by other states. In this way, Cronin awardees and finalists create opportunities for improving the procurement function nationwide.


2016 Award Winners

Gold Award Winner, State of Tennessee: Radio Equipment and Services
Silver Award Winner, State of Wisconsin: IT Procurement Best Practices Playbook
Bronze Award Winner, Commonwealth of Massachusetts: FAC85: Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies
Finalist, State of Wisconsin: Professional Development in Negotiation Skills on Behalf of a State
Finalist, State of New Jersey: NJSTART
  - View Webinar
Other Nominations

State of Alaska, Resubmission:
Task Order Procurement System (TOPS)
State of California:
PeopleSoft Purchasing and Cal eProcure Portal
State of Connecticut:
DAS Procurement Annual Training Event
State of Connecticut: Legacy Conversion Data Services
State of Connecticut: P-Card Online System (POL)
District of Columbia: Acquisition Plan Process Improvements Initiatives
State of Delaware: Delaware Learning Center, Statewide Training Efficiently and Effectively
State of Hawaii: Hawaii Procurement Wizard
State of Illinois: Multi-State High-Speed Diesel Electric Locomotive Procurement
State of Illinois: A Vendor Portal into State of Illinois Procurement
Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Supplier Diversity Office Innovations, Expansions and Modernization
State of New Mexico: New Mexico Roadrunner Procurement Initiative
State of Ohio: The Make a Difference Recruiting Project
State of Oklahoma: Innovative Procurement Position: Vendor Specialist/Concierge
State of Oregon: Services Purchase Order for Personal Services
State of Oregon:
The Workforce Development Program's, "Respectful Workplaces" Project
State of Tennessee: COMET - Offender Management System
State of Tennessee: End-to-End Process Improvement
State of Washington: Creating a Government Procurement Workplace of Participation, Trust, and Results
State of West Virginia: Procurement Certification Program: Promoting Expertise in the Public Procurement Field When Monies are Short and Expectations are High
State of West Virginia: Procurement Recruitment and Retention Program: Compensation Criteria for Buyer Retention Approved Proposal


Gold Award Winner, State of Tennessee: Tourist Development - Marketing and Advertising  - View Webinar
Silver Award Winner, State of Minnesota: Minnesota's MMCAP Focus Data Analytics System - View Webinar
Bronze Award Winner,
State of New York: New York State Vehicle Marketplace - View Webinar
State of Ohio: Ohio Waste Management Program - View Webinar
State of Delaware: Maximizing Fleet Resources and Streamlining Operations - View Webinar














  • 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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