Procurement affects and is affected by the public sector organization as a whole, and the community it serves, whether at the local, state, or national level. Therefore, participation in the collaborative development and adoption of Public Procurement Values and Guiding Principles by all stakeholders is desired. As a way to show support for this collaborative initiative, professional organizations may join as a Supporting Organization. There is no time or financial commitment to becoming a Supporting organization. It simply means that the organization supports NIGP’s collaborative efforts to develop public procurement values, principles, and standards of practice. If the organization can share the word about the project with its members, that would be very valuable.

For more information, or to be added as a Supporting Organization, please contact Tina M. Borger, CPPO, Research Director for NIGP at


Taking ownership and being responsible to stakeholders for our actions.  This value is essential to preserve the public trust and protect the public interest.

1. Apply sound business judgment.
2. Be knowledgeable of and abide by all applicable laws and regulations.
3. Be responsible stewards of public funds.
4. Maximize competition to the greatest extent practicable.
5. Practice due diligence.
6. Promote effective, economic, and efficient acquisition.
7. Support economic, social, and sustainable communities.
8. Use procurement strategies to optimize value to stakeholders.


  1. mike blissMay 12, 2010

    #3 and #4 are too similar. They should either be differintiated more or combined.

  2. 1. Since elsewhere in this document, it is stated that this is largely based on North American culture, should "provinces" and "terrorities" and/or other non-American references be added? I am suggesting being inclusive of Canada, Mexico, others.

  3. AnonymousMay 12, 2010

    Consider including taking ownership and responsiblity for internal controls over the procurement process - the five elements of internal control include: the control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring (reference Responsibility for procurement activities can be either centralized or decentralized. In either case having the proper internal controls in place form a strong foundation. The website referenced provides more information. (

  4. #1 might also be stated as "Be knowledgable of and abide by..."

  5. AnonymousMay 12, 2010

    good point dsw, keeping abreast of the innovations and changes in the field is just as important as 'abiding by' them

  6. I think we could improve #3. What is accountability for the spend? Instead, consider "perform spend analysis and recommend and implement improvements"

  7. Performing spend analysis and being accountable for the spend are really two distinct concepts. Spend analysis, to me, is more of an operational analysis using quantitative data, while I see accountability for the spend being a more abstract, qualitative issue with overarching ethical considerations. I believe that the original text fits what we are attempting to convey here.

  8. #1 Abiding by applicable laws seems so basic, so inherent to the nature of our employment, I don't see what is added by listing it as a principle for me to follow. If you want to reword it to say I should be responsible for ensuring others follow the applicable laws, then you would be capturing one of my important functions.

    #'s 2, 3, & 4 need some work. As Karen & Keith say, spend analysis and accountability are separate. And while I make recommendations, others are almost always responsible for the final substantive decisions. I try to document the basis for their decisions, but they are not under my control.

    #5 I'm surprised no one has played devil's advocate and challenged the notion that competition is the best way to maximize value within the public procurement arena, but let me state that I think it (almost) always is, so pretend I didn't even bring it up.

    #6 sounds good.

    #'s 7, 8, 9 There is potential for quite a bit of overlap among these - I hope the more detailed proposals can keep reasonably clear distinctions. I also hope to see 'return on ivestment' and 'good value' more specifically addressed in future material. I also would like to see some mention of looking at long-term public interest (since too many decisions are driven by short-term considerations) get mentioned somewhere in this group.

    I'd also like to see mention of identifying and managing risk. It sort of fits under several numbered principles, but perhaps deserves to be listed separately. Thanks.

    Jon Walton, J.D., CPPB
    State of Oregon

  9. I believe that a number of the previous posts sufficiently address most of the questions/comments that I had, so I am going to focus on an issue that could fall under either #7 or #9 - long term sustainable relationships with our vendors. Currently, it seems that we focus on the breadth not the depth of our vendor registries, and we view each procurement as a standalone action, not as one step in creating sustained profitable relationships. If each procurement is handled correctly, they could yield additional value when the procurement is solicited i.e. a greener product, less cost, less lead time etc.

    Some may call this strategic sourcing, but regardless of the term used, I believe that we really need to gain more than a superficial understanding of how our vendors do business and the issues that they face, so that we can leverage that knowledge and create gains for our organizations and the vendors. If we can do so, I think we would easily achieve Guiding Principles #2, #5, #7 and #9.

    Amanda Phillips, CPPB, JD

  10. I agree most issues have been stated. I do not like the way #3 is worded. The first I stepped foot into my first procurement job. I was told to spend the citizens money wisely. Need to reword 3 and 4 to reflect attitude of procurement related to spending public funds.

  11. AnonymousMay 14, 2010

    These points seem pretty much to capture all that I've always been taught about being accountable to all stakeholders. The language is clear and the points are conveyed.

  12. This is an old list of rules I have on my cube wall -- here goes.

    1. The Golden Rule: Treat others fairly
    2. Respect other people’s time
    3. When in doubt, listen
    4. You don’t have to know everything; just how to find out everything
    5. On-time means 15 minutes early
    6. Don’t get bent out of shape
    7. Ego prevents good work
    8. Give credit where it’s due
    9. Fight Parkinson’s Law
    10. Obey Murphy’s Law
    11. You are not special by being yourself; doing good work makes you special
    12. Don’t make things more complicated than necessary; Keep it simple
    13. Keep your desk, wall, and Outlook clean and organized
    14. There is always one more reason to put off work, so don’t give in
    15. If it’s important to your boss, it’s important to you
    16. Be tactful
    17. Always check your regs and authorities in letters. (Erin).
    18. Never say, “Well, Virginia said so…”. Say “because FAR, CFR, etc. says…this…”. (Erin).
    19. Always make a pdf when you get an original document. (Erin).
    20. Organize and file as a contract develops. (Erin).
    21. Count to 10 when you realize you are nervous or anxious
    22. If you don’t know what you want, don’t manage the budget. (Jose).
    23. Get the actuals and find out what was done, then make a decision, (Cheryl).
    24. Read the old contracts of the contract you’re working on to gain an understanding of the ideas and history behind the contract. (Erin).
    25. Say, “Here are the options my brilliant mind came up with and here’s what I recommend because (a), (b) and (c)”. (Erin).
    26. Learn how people communicate (visual, verbal, email, phone, etc.) and communicate with them in their preferred way. (Erin).
    27. Make your to-do tasks that involve people from Tuesday-Thursday because lots of people take off Monday and Friday. This applies to all industries, not just contracting or government. (Erin).

  13. Melissa AsshaMay 16, 2010

    Ensure integrity and fairness in all procurement activities

  14. AnonymousMay 18, 2010

    Sterling should add: Your job/career no matter what it is will NEVER love you back!

  15. AnonymousMay 18, 2010

    Need an anchor to keep your perspectives correct!

  16. John AdlerJune 03, 2010

    "Due diligence" is a legal standard that might be applied in matters of dispute. Black's Law Dictionary says "diligence" is "a continual effort to accomplish something" and "due diligence" is "The diligence reasonably expected from, and ordinarily exercised by a person who seeks to satisfy a legal requirement or to discharge an obligation. In other words, "due diligence" means to toil away and merely do our job.

    I suggest we need to go beyond some minimal legal standard and replace #6 with "Indentify and manage risks".

  17. AnonymousJune 04, 2010

    Number one should include something about a governing body such as a Board. Not all public are suject to State or local procurement laws but are able to promulgate their own as approved by their governing board.