FAQ

What is Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc.?

FAPPO - the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. It was founded in 1968 and its mission is “to promote the achievement of excellence in public procurement through education, certification, professional development and networking of its membership.” Its vision statement is “to be the leading professional association promoting the best practices of public procurement.”

Who may become a member?

Membership is generally restricted to employees of Florida public, tax-supported agencies. Regular Members are directly employed in purchasing activities and Associate Members are employed in other areas of government. Employees of vendors or other persons who market directly to government agencies are not eligible for membership in Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc..

How is Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. governed?

Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. is governed by a set of By-Laws and a Board of Directors. The board consists of the four sitting officers, President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, as well as all Past Presidents who are Regular or Associate Members. They are assisted by an Executive Director and approximately 40 committees.

How are the officers chosen?

A new Secretary is elected each year at the annual conference and that person takes office on June 1st. On that same date, all other officers advance one position and the sitting President becomes the Immediate Past President. A Nomination Form is available on the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. website. Any member may nominate himself/herself or another member to become Secretary, as long as that person meets the basic eligibility requirements and agrees to serve. Nominations from the floor may also be made during the annual conference.

When are board meetings held?

Board meetings are generally held four times a year at a location chosen by the President. Any Association member is welcome to attend any board meeting and participate in the discussions. However, only members of the Board of Directors may make motions and vote on them. The minutes of each board meeting are posted to the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. website.

Why have the membership dues gone up twice in the past two years?

This Association provides a number of services to its members and relies on several revenue streams to do this. In 2006, a review of membership dues showed that they had remained at $30 for 13 straight years. Given the annual cost of living increases in the economy during that time, the board felt it was appropriate to raise the dues and recommended such to the membership at the annual business luncheon for approval. In order to mitigate the impact on everyone, the increase was implemented in two stages of $10 each.  Our review of similar associations indicates that Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. dues are the lowest or among the lowest of professional associations nationally.

Why is a late fee charged for membership applications received after a certain date?

The processing of over 1000 membership applications and checks is a tremendous task. Members have three months to send in their annual renewals.  As an incentive to get the application in as quickly as possible, the board instituted the late fee about four years ago and there was an immediate improvement in timely submissions. The late fee does not apply to new members.

How do I update my membership data?

To update the information listed in the website database or the membership directory, members need to contact our Membership Chair and provide the requested changes.  Changes to the website database can be requested at anytime. Changes to the membership directory must by requested by the end of November prior to printing.

Can I keep my membership if I change agencies?

If you registered as an individual member, the membership is yours and you just need to notify the Membership Chair to have your personal data changed. If the membership was paid by your entity, it belongs to them and can be transferred to your replacement at no additional cost to the agency for that fiscal year. The person changing agencies would have to submit a new application either on his/her own or through the new agency.

What is the Fall Workshop?

In years past, a large number of member agencies used contracts issued by the State of Florida Department of Management Services in lieu of issuing their own bids. Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. used to host an annual State Contract Workshop for one day in October in order for the state to provide the latest information on these contracts and solicit input from agencies on how to improve them. Other short seminars were also provided. With the advent of the internet and better communications, it has not been necessary to meet in person. In 2007, we took the opportunity to use this period to hold classes that our members need for the Florida certifications. This proved to be very successful and will be done again in October 2008 and other short seminars may also be provided.

When is the annual conference held?

The annual conference is typically held in April of each year, depending on the availability of hotel and trade show space.

How are conference sites chosen?

The site for each conference is chosen by the current President. Typically, the President chooses a hotel in his/her community and negotiates a contract for the room rate, meeting rooms and food services approximately 18 months in advance of the conference dates. However, recent data has suggested that because the trade show represents more than 40% of the total income for Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. we should take into consideration the availability of a large enough space to maximize the number of vendors that can be accommodated. This is likely to restrict future conferences to the larger urban areas in Florida.

How are hotels chosen for the conferences?

There are a number of factors that go into choosing a site for a Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. event. These include location; sufficient guest rooms; adequate meeting room space; a room large enough to hold the general session, business meeting and banquet; parking; and food service. Smaller (and sometimes less expensive) chain hotels have none of these facilities except guest rooms. Full service hotels do not charge separately for the use of meeting rooms. They make their money on the markup for food. As a practical matter, we cannot have everyone dine offsite and return after every meal and we are not allowed to bring in our own food from a caterer. Consequently, this lowers the number of properties that can handle a conference of our size.

Why does Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. operate a hospitality suite?

A hospitality suite is one of the few things that hotels will allow us to have without incurring additional charges. The cost of a soft drink at most hotel bars is in the $3 range, with $5 for a beer and over $6 for a mixed drink or a glass of wine. Therefore, as a service to our members, we operate a hospitality suite. It allows us to mingle with our peers in a safe and comfortable environment without paying hotel rates for drinks. On certain nights, there are also some snacks provided.

Why are drinks so expensive at the banquet?

At past banquets we have served wine with dinner, but this proved to be too expensive and wasteful. We are not allowed to bring in our own items so we have the hotel set up one or more cash bars at established rates. Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. absorbs this cost as a service to its members. The purchase of any drink is then up to the individual. The prices charged include a certain markup to cover the cost of the hotel’s facilities and may seem higher to many attendees from less populated areas around the state.

I’d like to bring a guest to the lunch or banquet, but it seems so expensive. Why is that?

The contract the President signs with the host hotel mandates that we use their food services. A typical served lunch runs about $25. To this must be added a 20% service charge and 6% sales tax. A typical banquet meal is about $40, to which the service charge and tax is added. At some hotels, theses fees are even higher.

Why does Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. rarely, if ever, have buffets for meals?

By and large, hotel buffets cost more than regular served meals. The biggest reason is that the kitchen can control the portions at a served meal, while a buffet is much less controlled. People generally take more food when they go through a buffet line, generally resulting in higher cost for buffets.

Why does Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. have trade shows?

As Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. membership began to increase significantly in the 1980’s and the need to offer more benefits to our members increased, it was necessary to find a revenue stream that could help us in our endeavors. Thus was born the trade show as part of the annual conference. The trade show offers our members the opportunity to learn about new products and services, while vendors are eager to meet and talk to procurement professionals. The revenue generated helps us keep down the cost of dues, the conference registration, and also subsidizes our professional development goals.

What happens to the surveys that are filled out at the annual conference?

The conference survey data is compiled by the Vice President, who becomes the President for the next conference. It is discussed at the first board meeting of the new fiscal year. The comments are used to address any problems that occurred so they don’t happen again, to guide committee chairs in performing their duties during the year and to make positive changes in what is or isn’t included in the next conference. The class surveys are used to rate the instructors and gather information on what other subjects the members would like to have presented.

Why is the newsletter not printed like it used to be?

The Board of Directors continually monitors the costs associated with running the Association. To print a monthly newsletter and mail it to over 1000 members costs approximately $10,000 per year. Once the overwhelming majority of members obtained e-mail accounts, it seemed only prudent to send a blast e-mail to the membership with a link to the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. website where the newsletter is posted in a pdf format for reading and/or printing.

Why can’t I put my local NIGP chapter news and events in the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. newsletter or website?

Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. is an independent association and not affiliated with any national organization.  While most of the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. members are also members of an NIGP chapter, we have historically drawn a line between what we will or won’t post as far as information goes. The primary reason for this is to avoid the appearance of favoring one chapter over another. We also do not intentionally try to upstage any chapter or impinge on their on-going programs or events. If something is of benefit to all chapters, we will typically make a decision to post it.

Does Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. assist with obtaining professional certifications?

Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. has long supported professional certification for its members and is proud to say that about 40% of our members are certified. In 2006, the UPPCC voted to extend membership to several associations, including Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc., so we now have a presence on the UPPCC board. Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. schedules NIGP LEAP courses throughout the year since they are the basis for the body of knowledge required to pass the UPPCC certifications. In the past two years, we have partnered with the State of Florida to schedule classes needed for their certification program. Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. does not subsidize the certification application fee an individual must pay to take an exam.

How are the rates for seminars determined?

Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. has an annual contract with NIGP for the provision of certified instructors to teach the NIGP LEAP classes that we schedule. The basic rates are set by NIGP and then subsidized by Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc.. This subsidy is about 50% of the NIGP base rate.

My agency has no training budget. How can I attend the seminars that I need for certification?

Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. has a scholarship fund for attending seminars and also for working toward a degree. In 2008, we instituted the Norma W. Showley Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of one of our late presidents as a means for members to contribute directly to helping others attend classes. The procedures for applying for a scholarship are listed on the website or you may contact the Professional Development Chair.

What is a site coordinator?

Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. schedules NIGP courses throughout the year around the state. We try to find a classroom facility that we can use at little or no cost. Each site requires a volunteer to perform certain duties such as being a contact person for attendees and the instructor, as well as obtaining audio visual equipment and providing continental breakfast and beverages each day. As an incentive to volunteer, the site coordinator can attend the seminar at no charge.

What are the options for obtaining a membership directory?

Each year, when the membership applications are received, copies are forwarded to a committee that takes the information and inputs it to a database for formatting into the layout of the directory. For many years, the membership directory was automatically printed and mailed to the membership. However, input from members about the cost and lack of use, etc., prompted a decision by the board several years ago to offer more options. There is a place on the membership application to indicate how a member wishes to receive the directory. The choices are the regular printed hard copy, a CD or a pdf file. Approximately 60% of the membership now chooses the hard copy so we have been able to save some money in the process.

How can I present an idea to the leadership of Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc.

The contact information for all officers, as well as past presidents and committee chairs, is listed on the website and in the membership directory. Simply contact one of these individuals and present your idea. You are also free to attend a scheduled board meeting and introduce your idea under New Business.

How can I get an error fixed that I noticed on the website?

Contact the website liaison listed in the committee listing on the website. You can also forward an e-mail to the President.

Why should I volunteer?

This is your association and it requires a tremendous amount of effort to keep it running smoothly. The officers and Executive Director can only do so much. Service on a committee is a great way to meet others and to learn the aspects of running a professional organization. Any officer or committee member can tell you stories about the opportunities and personal satisfaction they’ve gotten out of serving.

How can I get involved?

The President appoints a Volunteer Coordinator each year whose job is to seek out people to volunteer. Members may contact this person and offer their services, at which time their name will be given to the President for assignment to a committee. They may also review the list of committees on the Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials, Inc. website and contact a committee chairperson directly about working on that committee.