Downstate Counties Convene Regional Shared Services Procurement Conference
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone hosted an local government procurement conference designed to demonstrate taxpayer savings that can be achieved when local governments work together. Bellone was joined by Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, president of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).
The conference attracted nearly two hundred local officials representing schools, towns, and villages, along with several state-level shared service and procurement experts.
The day-long event began with a presentation by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office released a new report called Professional Service Procurement: Considerations for Public Officials.
NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario, who moderated the panel of county executives and participated on a panel on the future of municipal procurement, said "This region of the state is home to nearly 5 million New Yorkers and represents nearly $10 billion in public sector goods and services. Understanding the laws, procurement best practices and how each unit of local government is purchasing supplies can help make the process more efficient and effective on behalf of local taxpayers."
The panel topics included Shared Services and Cooperative Purchasing; Navigating Procurement Roadblocks; Modernizing Procurement Through Technology; the Future of Municipal Procurement; and Innovations: Improving Procurement Now.
One of the key takeaways from the program, according to Acquario, includes a proposal that would require any technology vendor interfacing with county data or servers to adhere to cybersecurity standards for the protection of public infrastructure and personal data.