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While “best value” is a very broad term with imprecise meaning, this position paper from NIGP takes a leadership oriented view on the notion of “best value”, what factors may drive it and most importantly, how to orient your organization toward achieving it. It is not necessarily a step-by-step prescription of what to do. Rather, the focus is on instilling into your organization’s culture the set of philosophies and methodologies that can help you achieve best value in procurement, consistently and repeatedly.

What are the key takeaways?

Can “best value” be defined? In this position paper, NIGP emphasizes that best value is achieved when a set of deliberate and orchestrated practices are applied to achieve stated outcomes – as the paper mentions:

  • “Best Value Procurement is both a concept and a set of recommended practices. Procurement professionals must be aware of BVP concepts, have a thorough understanding of the recommended methods and practices for achieving best value, and have the ability to effectively evaluate and apply the most appropriate approach to each procurement.”

Underscoring an important theme that we at Public Spend Forum strongly promote, achieving best value cuts across all 3 phases of the acquisition/procurement life cycle (pre-award, award, and post-award). Not just price. Not just total cost of ownership. Not just competition, and not just contracting and contract management. To make this point, this paper references and leverages Canada’s Treasury Board policy on contracting:

  • ‘As described in Canada’s Treasury Board policy on contracting: “The analysis necessary to achieve best value should not be confined to the actual procurement process; it should begin in the planning and appraisal of alternatives and continue through the definition of requirements which would include assessment and award criteria, evaluation of sources, selection of contractor, preparation, negotiation, execution and award of contract, contract administration and post-contract evaluation.”

This paper continues with specifying and discussing several key “methods and pathways to best values” that leaders can socialize within their organizations as a matter of culture and norms associated with conducting acquisitions.

Full Paper: NIGP

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