Jason Soza, CPO, State of Alaska, Recipient of the Change Agent of the Year Award

It is our honor to announce Jason Soza as the CPE Change Agent of the Year. As the Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Alaska Jason has developed and implemented significant innovations, including the transformation of the State’s RFP processes, instilling a culture of continuous improvement and advancement throughout the procurement organization, and adapting lean six-sigma based practices into purchasing and procurement operations. Jason consistently challenges the ‘status quo’ approach to procurement and has implemented advanced RFP techniques that have provided great value to both the State and the public. He is a true public servant change-agent, openly sharing what he was learned with other State agencies and personnel, including teaching numerous seminars in his efforts to transform procurement in his State. His changes and improvements has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in annual savings to the tax-payers. Through his success and leadership, he encourages others throughout the State and Country to aspire to improve and provide more value to those they serve.

Honor In Procurement (HIP) Award Goes To The City Of Lawrence, KS

The Center for Procurement Excellence (CPE) is pleased to announce the City of Lawrence, Kansas as the recipient of the 2018 CPE Honor in Procurement (HIP) Award.  The award was presented to the City of Lawrence’s Assistant Director of Utilities, Melinda Harger. Harger was thanked for her guidance of the City’s policy change efforts to allow for Alternative Project Delivery Methods for capital projects. Harger and the City utilized research and methods recommended by CPE to develop specific procedures for Alternative Project Delivery Methods.

Policy Change – with a Caveat for Transparency!

In January 2018, the City approved a charter ordinance to enable the use of Alternative Construction Methods. Historically, the City has used a Design-Bid-Build approach to construct most capital projects.  The City passed a new charter ordinance because State law traditionally calls for a sealed-bid process.

Yet the initial approval came with a caveat – the City Commission requested that detailed procedures be developed to clearly show how Alternative Project Delivery Methods will be selected for future capital projects. The procedures also addressed the manner in which vendors would be procured and managed within the Alternative Delivery Methods. To develop these procedures, the City utilized CPE best practices in the areas of:

(1)    Crafting an evaluation process used to select vendors in a way that balanced qualifications and price. Critical aspects of the process are:

  1. An appropriate Selection Committee;
  2. Core elements of the solicitation documents;
  3. Categories of effective evaluation criteria;
  4. Two-envelope cost evaluations, and;
  5. Maximum limits on the weight assigned to individual evaluation criteria

(2)    Project Management and Oversight to promote accountability and transparency throughout the construction phase, including:

  1. Regular tracking of project status, and
  2. Formal reviews of vendor performance.

The Path Forward

The City’s new policies are already being put into action.  In late August 2018, the City approved the first construction project to use the Alternative Delivery Procedures.  The City released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a $16M first phase of a new police headquarters under the Construction Manager at Risk method (CMAR) rather than the traditional low-bid method.  CPE has provided recommendations to assist the City with their RFP language and evaluation procedures to select the most qualified Construction Manager according to fair, open, and transparent systems.