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Materiel Management Department Receives National Award for Excellence in Public Procurement

The National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) has honored Old Dominion University with a Pareto Award, which recognizes excellence in public procurement.

ODU is only the sixth comparable organization in the country to receive the award, and the first institution of higher education.

In a letter to Rick Berry, executive director of ODU's Department of Materiel Management, NIGP CEO Rick Grimm said that ODU's accomplishments "serve as a beacon of light" in NIGP's search for processes and procedures that ensure fairness and transparency in procurement.

Grimm wrote that the Department of Materiel Management "stands tall" in serving as a prime example of professionalism and public-sector procurement. "Your organization's effectiveness is a credit to the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors and Virginia taxpayers, as well as to the profession as a whole."

The Pareto Award of Excellence in Public Procurement was introduced in 2003 by NIGP to recognize agencies that epitomize efficiency and resourcefulness through streamlined procurement operations.

Only agencies with Outstanding Agency Achievement Accreditation Award (OA4) standing are deemed qualified to undertake the rigorous Pareto Award screening process.

OA4 status was awarded to the university earlier this year, in recognition of its work to seek qualified bidders for tenders from small, women- and minority-owned businesses.

For the Pareto Award screening process, NIGP consultants Louis Moore and Connie Hinson conducted an on-site review of the materiel management department's operations to verify, clarify and examine the procurement function at Old Dominion, and interviewed ODU staff members and suppliers.

Their findings in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer service, process management, information management and performance improvement confirmed that ODU is more than worthy of its Pareto Award.

ODU will officially receive its Pareto Award at NIGP's Awards Luncheon Aug. 15 in San Antonio.

Last year, the commonwealth of Virginia granted ODU greater operational authority to procure materiel and information technology, deeming it worthy of Level II authority.

Level II status exempts ODU from review and reporting requirements for things like IT purchases, and the awarding of some contract for goods and services on campus.

In order to satisfy the state's requirements for meeting Level II status, ODU was required to have been granted decentralized procurement authority from the Department of General Services; be in full compliance with the Virginia Public Procurement Act; adopt the state's "Rules Governing Procurement of Goods, Services, Insurance and Construction"; maintain certification through the Virginia Contracting Officer Certification Program; and establish, adopt and achieve the university's goals for small, women- and minority-owned business (SWAM) procurement.

This article was posted on: August 4, 2010

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.