Elevating the Public Procurement Profession

Global Best Practices

As the public procurement profession evolves, global best practices keep you up to date with advances in definitions, concepts, and best practices. Whether you are new to the profession or a seasoned professional, the guidance provided offers new insights and clarity on public procurement topics and practices.

NIGP's Global Best Practices

  Provide useful, applicable, and timely guidance for public procurement professionals

  Result from collaborative efforts with content experts and are subject to public review

  Elevate the public procurement profession and the value our members bring to their entities

Our Global Best Practices align with the focus areas of Pathway's Public Procurement Competency Framework. 


Strategic Use of Cooperative Procurement

Written in collaboration with National Cooperative Procurement Partners, NIGP's newest Global Best Practice, Strategic Use of Cooperative Procurement, provides fresh guidance for evaluating cooperative contracting options. Cooperative procurement methods like joint solicitation and piggybacking are effective strategies to procure the goods and services your entity needs while supporting economic, social, and sustainability initiatives.

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Global Best Practices aligning with this Focus Group
Policy and Legislation
Global Best Practices aligning with this Focus Group
Planning and Analysis
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Sourcing and Solicitation
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Contract Administration
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Global Best Practices aligning with this Focus Group
Business Principles
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View our Global Best Practices

  • Strategy

    Establishing an Effective Supplier Diversity Program

    Top-performing entities establish supplier diversity programs that work to ensure all suppliers have an equitable opportunity to obtain contracts. This equity can be achieved when customized outreach and support programs remove the barriers that may prevent some suppliers from participating in a project. This GBP emphasizes the traditional concepts of social disparity in government contracting and highlights the steps necessary to develop a successful supplier diversity program.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Establishing an Effective Supplier Diversity Program

    Performance Management

    Performance management is the process by which a procurement professional or organization establishes criteria based on strategic planning goals for the purpose of determining the results and quality of its activities. It involves creating a simple, effective system for determining whether the procurement team is meeting its objectives.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Performance Management

    Performance Measurement

    Performance measurement is the process by which a procurement organization establishes criteria based on strategic planning goals for the purpose of determining the results and the quality of its activities.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Performance Measurement

    Performance Metrics

    The term performance metrics refers to the process of measuring performance. Applying an analytical application of measurements allows organizations to compare performance standards.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Performance Metrics

    The Place of Public Procurement within the Entity

    The 'place of procurement' refers to positioning procurement within the entity to optimize the influence and impact of procurement on internal and external stakeholders. It should be operationally distinct from other departments and divisions. This best practice builds a case for the strategic placement of the procurement function to maximize the effectiveness of procurement within the entity, which is critical for the entity to fully benefit from procurement operations.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - The Place of Public Procurement within the Entity

    Sustainable Procurement Practice

    Sustainable procurement is a purchasing and investment process that takes into account the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the entity’s spending. Sustainable procurement allows organizations to meet their needs for goods, services, construction works, and utilities in a way that achieves value for money on a whole-life basis in terms of generating benefits to the organization, society, and the economy while remaining within the carrying capacity of the environment.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Sustainable Procurement Practice

  • Policy & Legislation

    Developing a Procurement Policy Manual

    A policy manual is a governing set of principles that establishes the general parameters for an organization to follow when carrying out its responsibilities. Understanding the best way to develop one is important to ensure everyone within the organization knows who is responsible for carrying out specific tasks and procedures.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Developing a Procurement Policy Manual

    Ethical Procurement

    Ethical procurement prohibits breaching the public’s trust by discouraging a public employee from attempting to achieve personal gain through conduct that’s inconsistent with the proper discharge of the employee’s duties.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Ethical Procurement

    Procurement's Role in United States Federal Emergency Management Compliance

    To obtain and keep federal funding, an entity must comply with federal emergency management requirements under 2 C.F.R., Part 200. To ensure compliance, it is important to use the most current version of government regulations, manuals, and publications.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Procurement's Role in United States Federal Emergency Management Compliance

    Transparency in Public Procurement

    Transparency can be defined as timely and easily understood access to information. Transparency ensures that deviations from fair and equal treatment are detected early and also makes such deviations less likely to occur. It protects the integrity of the process and the interest of the organization, stakeholders, and the public.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Transparency in Public Procurement

  • Planning & Analysis

    Market Research Process: Research, Analysis, and Intelligence

    The market research process is critical because it provides procurement professionals with the accurate and relevant information they need to make the most appropriate decision regarding the procurement of commodities and construction.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Market Research Process: Research, Analysis, and Intelligence

    Risk Management

    The process of risk management includes identifying and analyzing risk and making a decision to either accept or mitigate the exposure to such risk when compared to the potential impact on achieving the organization’s objectives.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Risk Management

    Spend Analysis

    Spend analysis is the process of collecting, cleansing, classifying, and analyzing expenditure data from all sources within the organization (i.e. purchasing card, eProcurement systems, etc.). The process analyzes current, past, and forecasted expenditures to allow visibility of data by supplier, by commodity or service, and by department within the organization. Spend analysis can be used to make future management decisions by providing answers to such questions as what was bought; when was it bought; where was it purchased; how many suppliers were used and how much was spent with each of them; and how much was paid for the item.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Spend Analysis

    Strategic Procurement Planning

    Strategic procurement planning is the process of creating alignment and consistent action. It results in documents that establish the long-range objectives and overall strategy or course of action by which an organization fulfills its mission.

    Strategic Procurement Planning (SP2) is the transformation of an organization’s mission, goals, and objectives into measurable activities to be used to plan, budget, and manage the procurement function within the organization. The goal is to bring about positive change in organizational culture, systems, and operational processes.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Strategic Procurement Planning

  • Sourcing & Solicitation


    Debriefs should provide value to the proposer and the entity. The quality of a debrief derives from policy and is impacted by the clarity of the solicitation, evaluation process and documentation, and preparedness
    of the procurement professional conducting the debrief.


    Distinguishing Between Scope of Work and Statement of Work

    This practice defines the phrases scope of work and statement of work, distinguishes between the two, and sets a standard for how these terms are used in the professional language of public procurement.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Distinguishing Between Scope of Work and Statement of Work

    Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 1

    This practice is the first in a series of four and refers to the procedures and processes that procurement professionals and organizations need to understand to acquire hardware and software products and services. Knowing the specific IT area for the commodity being procured, including terminology and attributes, is essential.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 1

    Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 2

    This practice takes a closer look at IT software procurement and its unique considerations, such as licensing, source code, and data ownership.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 2

    Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 3

    Procurement should use solicitation templates specifically developed for IT hardware procurement. The procurement professional must take the highly technical information inherent in IT procurement and communicate it clearly and effectively in solicitations, negotiations, contracts, and during implementation.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 3

    Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 4

    When procuring IT services, entities should consider the focus area of the supplier, identify the required programming and data processing skills, assess implementation or migration background experience, and verify supplier qualifications.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Information Technology (IT) Procurement Series No. 4

    Invitation for Bids (IFB) AKA Invitation to Tender (ITT)

    This practice differentiates between an IFB, which is the solicitation document, and the competitive sealed bid (referred to as a “bid”), which is the response to the IFB. To be eligible for the recommendation of an award, a bid must be “responsive” and the bidder must be “responsible.”

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Invitation for Bids (IFB) AKA Invitation to Tender (ITT)

    Lease-Purchase Decision

    Lease-Purchase Decision is a decision based on the results of a cost/benefit analysis of the costs to own, costs to lease, and the advantages and disadvantages of any relevant qualitative factors.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Lease-Purchase Decision


    Negotiation, whether simple or complex, requires planning. Negotiations in public procurement occur in various contexts. Negotiation is used when obtaining funding and resources, and working in an environment where competing interests are involved. Negotiation is also a fundamental function of sourcing and contract administration.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Negotiation


    Outsourcing refers to an informed decision made by an organization to contract outside of the organization for a product, service or business process that had previously been provided internally (in-house).

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Outsourcing

    Performance-Based Contracting

    Performance-Based Contracting is a results-oriented contracting method that focuses on the outputs, quality, or outcomes that may tie at least a portion of a contractor’s payment, contract extensions, or contract renewals to the achievement of specific, measurable performance standards and requirements. These contracts may include both monetary and non-monetary incentives and disincentives.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Performance-Based Contracting

    Procurement's Role in the Use of Non-Emergency Federal Grant Funds

    While federal grants often permit local entities to accomplish far more than they could with just their own resources, the path to obtaining such funds is far from smooth. Many federal grants trigger procurement activity requiring compliance with federal standards. This GBP establishes best practices for procurement’s role and function once federal non-emergency funds have been awarded.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Procurement's Role in the use of Non-Emergency Federal Grant Funds


    A protest is a written objection by an interested party to a solicitation or an award of a contract with the intention of receiving a remedial result. Procurement must ensure that the entity has a protest policy established and documented. Understanding the context and motivation for a protest filing may be as important as the specific protest issue. A procurement professional should ensure that the legal department or legal counsel is aware of and can advise on action regarding protests.


    Public-Private Partnership (P3): Facilities and Infrastructure

    P3s are procurements that combine design and build components under one contract between the public sector and the private sector. This practice provides guidance to the public procurement professional who is considering a Public-Private Partnership (P3) as an appropriate solution to a stated need or requirement. It defines P3s in the context of the construction of public facilities and infrastructure and is intended as a reference, to be shared with elected public officials, government executives, and private sector executives on the use of and procurement through P3 contracts.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Public-Private Partnership (P3): Facilities and Infrastructure

    Qualifications-Based Selection for Architectural and Engineering Services

    Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) is a procurement process for the competitive selection of architectural and engineering services under which the most appropriate professional or firm is selected based on qualifications such as knowledge, skill, experience, and other project-specific factors, rather than on fees. Fair and reasonable fees are negotiated with the top-ranked firm for an agreed-upon scope of services.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Qualifications-Based Selection for Architectural and Engineering Services

    Request for Proposals (RFPs)

    RFPs, evaluation criteria, and the evaluation process are all integral to the RFP process. This practice consolidates and replaces the previously published practices of Request for Proposals, Developing Evaluation Criteria, and The Evaluation Process. 

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Request for Proposals (RFPs)

    Selecting the Appropriate Construction Project Delivery Method

    The selection of a construction project delivery method depends upon the delivery methods permitted by legislation and are determined through a business analysis of the project characteristics.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Selecting the Appropriate Construction Project Delivery Method


    Specifications define precise requirements of commodities (i.e., goods and services) that are sought through a solicitation process. Procurement professionals collaborate with end-users to translate a particular need into detailed requirements to convey the context in which the commodity will be used and articulate clear knowledge of statutes, regulations, policies, market availability, budget, and the strategic plan of the entity. Written with an intent to maximize competition, specifications should use language that is relevant to and understood by potential offerors.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Specifications

  • Contract Administration

    Achieving an Optimal Procurement Card (PCard) Program

    As public procurement has evolved from a transactional to a strategic function, the potential of PCard programs and the revenue and savings they generate have also evolved. This GBP can help entities with an existing PCard program enhance their revenue and rebates.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Achieving an Optimal Procurement Card (PCard) Program

    Contract Administration

    The primary responsibilities of contract administration are to document performance of the contract in a procurement file, monitor performance of the contract, and resolve any issues related to the contract.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Contract Administration

    Contract Closeout

    The contract closeout process allows the entity and contractor to officially consider a contract closed. The simplest form of a contract closeout may be performed automatically and may not require a formal checklist to complete the process. Well-executed contract administration, including a complete and accurate procurement or contract file, is essential to successful contract closeout.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Contract Closeout


  • Leadership

    Stakeholder Relationships

    Procurement functions in three critical areas of stakeholder engagement: 1. conducting individual procurements, 2. participating in entity-wide activities such as budgeting and strategic planning, and 3. continually improving the effectiveness of Procurement.  Procurement’s ability to succeed in these areas and contribute to the achievement of the entity’s goals are realized through establishing and strengthening effective relationships with stakeholders. Effective relationships require proactive and continual effort through intentional investments of time, resources, andstrategies to establish, build, maintain, and strengthen trust and reciprocity. 

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Stakeholder Relationships

    Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

    Also called vendor relationship management, supplier relationship management is a set of principles, processes, and tools that can help organizations maximize relationship value with suppliers and minimize risk and management of overhead through the entire supplier relationship life cycle. SRM has two aspects: clear commitment between the supplier and the buyer; and the objective of understanding, agreeing with, and codifying the interactions between them.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

  • Business Principles


    There are three primary audit types: compliance, financial, and performance. Preparing for an audit through regularly conducted self-assessments ensures that procurement professionals can readily provide up-to-date documents and data that may be requested by an auditor.



    What is Procurement's role in identifying, assessing, and addressing cybersecurity risk.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Cybersecurity


    Procurement technology helps accelerate business improvements. It allows for the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, or methods of organization to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution, achieve a goal, or perform a specific function in relation to procurement and the procurement process.

    DOWNLOAD PRACTICE - Technology

Get Involved with the

Global Best Practices

What are your areas of expertise? There are multiple ways to contribute that can fit your interest and availability.

  • Join the Global Best Practices (GBP) community on NSite
  • Join a core team that develops a practice.
  • Join the review team.
  • Comment on the final draft of the practice.
  • Contribute resources and case studies.
  • Present a webinar on a practice.*

*Presenters must meet specific criteria.

Please email Chanda Taylor Carpenter at ccarpenter@nigp.org to become involved.