04:00 AM

Aviation Authority Procurement Department earns accreditation honor

(October 2, 2014) - The Tampa International Airport Procurement Department recently achieved a milestone as the first airport purchasing entity to receive Agency Accreditation from the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP).

This accreditation recognizes those agencies that lead the public procurement profession through the implementation of best practices.

“We had a goal to get this completed in five years. We completed it in exactly three years,” said Ed Haines, director of Procurement for the Aviation Authority. “It was a complete and total team effort. The team really stepped up and embraced it wholeheartedly and got her done. Connie Mundzak took the lead on this and she just did a bang-up job.” 

Agencies are assessed against 132 best practice criteria in the following categories: Mission and Strategies, Organizational Structure, Procurement Authority and Responsibility, Planning and Scheduling, Standards and Specifications, Personnel and Professional Development, Materials Management, Use of Cooperative Contracting, and Use of Technology.  

“All of our policies had to be revised, all the procedures had to be revised. We had to put together a procurement manual outlining all of our processes. We had to show a significant portion of our staff was individually certified as procurement agents. That involves formal education and a pretty extensive exam,” Haines said. 

Ultimately, all of the procurement staff received certification in at least one category, and some received certification in more than one.  

Only 59 government agencies currently hold NIGP accreditation in the United States and Canada. The accreditation certification is valid for three years.

The department received praise from Board Chairman Robert Watkins at the Oct. 2 Board meeting. 

“This couldn’t have come at a better time with all the work we’re doing on the master plan,” Watkins said.  “We have a team that deserves every bit of this recognition.” 

After posing for a group photo with the team and Chairman Watkins, airport CEO Joe Lopano told the team: “Get back to buying.”