City of Sarasota Purchasing Division accorded prestigious honor by national institute

For third consecutive year, staff has won Achievement of Excellence in Procurement

The City of Sarasota Purchasing Department staff members are (from left) Lou Cifereno, Barney Kavanagh, Carlos Marmolejos Rosario, Tammy Winton-Spearman, Denise Donohue, Jessica Smith, Purchasing General Manager David Boswell and Aaron Olson. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

The City of Sarasota Purchasing Division has been awarded the 2017 Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement® Award from the National Procurement Institute, the city has announced.

“This professional achievement recognizes national best practices in the field of procurement,” a city news release explains. “This is the third consecutive year the division has earned the recognition, the release points out.

The City of Sarasota is one of just 24 recipients in Florida and one of 68 cities in the United States and Canada to be honored with this accolade, which is known to purchasing professionals as the “‘pinnacle of procurement,’” the release adds.

The Achievement of Excellence in Procurement® Award is bestowed on government and nonprofit organizations that earn a high score based on standardized criteria, including outstanding performance with e-procurement, productivity, professionalism, leadership and innovation, the release explains.

“The award requires proof of growth, advancement and improvement in the procurement process and the Purchasing Division itself,” said Purchasing General Manager David Boswell in the release. “We were awarded 135 points out of 200 with a requirement of 100 points needed to receive the award,” he added in the release. “As the Purchasing General Manager, I do not look at this as being 35 points over the minimum requirement. I see it as 65 points away from obtaining the desired goal,” he continued in the release. “The better our process, the more fiscally responsible we will be and in the end the taxpayer is the winner by cost savings and quality products and services.”

One recent process improvement has been the implementation of vendor surveys, the release notes. Twice a year, e-surveys are issued, seeking feedback on the city’s procurement process, including suggestions for how it can be improved, the release adds.

The city’s Purchasing Division facilitates formal solicitations (bids, requests for proposal, invitations to negotiation) purchase orders (for everything from construction services to office supplies to professional services) and purchase card transactions, the release says.