Michael Asner has published extensively about public procurement – books, articles, guidelines and an occasional op ed. Here are three of his most popular current publications.
A TRUSTED REFERENCE FOR PROCUREMENT PROFESSIONALS FOR TWENTY YEARS!!
(The earlier editions are being used by more than 5000 governments and their agencies.)
The Fifth Edition of The Request For Proposal Handbook is now available.
This book was first published in 1995. Since then, it has been expanded and revised every five years. Used by more than 5000 agencies and departments, primarily at the state and local government level, The RFP Handbook has become a trusted reference for procurement professionals.
Now, it’s time for a revision. And in creating the Fifth Edition, I have not only updated all the content but added 60 new references and 20 new topics - issues which I believe are not normally dealt with in any single existing text that I’ve found. These issues include the following:
- Understanding the worldwide view of public procurement
- Knowing the law
- Testing your evaluation procedure before issuing the RFP
- Using risk as an evaluation factor
- Using a Fairness Officer on high-risk RFPs
- Providing a step-by-step narrative of an actual evaluation procedure
- Non-numerical evaluation of cost
- Using Past Performance data in your evaluation
This book leads the reader through the entire Request for Proposal process and provides best practices from more than 100 jurisdictions. It is based on my experience as an independent consultant specializing in public procurement and the RFP process. These best practices have emerged as a practical strategy for building ‘fair, open and transparent’ into public procurement.
At last! Help for the Procurement Officer facing IT, a complex software package, and the RFP process. Not just a report but the collected experiences of people who have already traveled this road – made mistakes, discovered truths and completed the work successfully.
Selecting complex software in a public agency is risky! Many agencies bear scars from failed projects because they didn’t learn from others who have made mistakes and others who have done it successfully. Read this report, based on real-life experience and best project, contracting, and RFP practices to avoid major problems.
This Guide provides short answers to the most common questions about public procurement. For example:
- Why is "fair and open competition" the backbone of procurement?
- What is a competitive procurement?
- Why is "sole sourcing" a problem?
Elected Officials will appreciate the unbiased perspective on the procurement process. I Purchased copies for all my elected officials and senior management. They are very useful as supplemental material when I talk to my council members about the procurement process.
Past President, NIGP
Director of Purchasing, Ft. Collins, CO
A Guide to Public Procurement
- Can Help Elected Officials, New Managers 'Get It'
Helps senior managers and elected politicians understand that public purchasing is not a 'cookie jar'. This lack of understanding often impedes progress and creates unnecessary conflict.
- Can Help Inform How Public Policy Governs Procurement
Helps managers and the newly elected understand that procurement is not governed by local political agendas but by rules that must be followed in every jurisdiction, not just the federal government.
- Can Help Explain The Procurement Function
Helps explain the value of the procurement role by clarifying key tasks and processes.
CONSULTING: NEED SOME HELP?
Michael Asner has spent 20 years managing high risk RFPs, helping procurement organizations improve their policies & procedures, and helping them solve problems.
If senior management is questioning the efficiency and effectiveness of your RFP process. Your policies haven't been reviewed in ten years. Your staff needs some help with a high-risk, high-visibility RFP. You want a second opinion on your strategic plan.
Michael has been providing advice and assistance to governments and government agencies for the last twenty years. His clients are located in U.S and Canada and include government agencies, counties, city governments, states and provinces, as well as lawyers. While resident in Vancouver, Canada, many of his clients are in the U.S.
Recent consulting assignments have included:
- A review of a County's procurement practices. Are they transparent, effective and efficient?
- Assisting a federal agency to resolve a dispute with a vendor related to an RFP and the resulting multi-million dollar contract.
- Review of procurement policies & procedures in a government agency;
- Expert witness in litigation related to 'fair and open competition';
- RFP Gatekeeper - ensuring that all RFPs comply with policy and incorporate best practices before they are issued;
- Fairness Officer on a RFP project to develop and implement major new software.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: SPEECHES & WORKSHOPS
For the last twenty years, Michael has developed and presented a variety of workshops dealing with public procurement issues. These workshops have been sponsored by organizations such as NIGP (in the U.S.) and SCMA (in Canada). Michael’s speaking style has been described as intense, entertaining and engaging.
We offer a variety of workshops – each dealing with public procurement, ethics or RFPs. Our three most popular workshops are:
Bullet-Proofing Your RFPs (one day)
This popular presentation is focused on the entire RFP process, from project inception until the contract is signed.
You will learn:
- Best practices from more than 60 jurisdictions
- When to use an RFP
- The worldwide trend to fair, open and transparent procurement
- Choices in Selecting an Evaluation Methodology
- Best practices for each step in the RFP Process
- How to construct an evaluation process that works
This presentation has been offered more than 30 times. Sponsors include NIGP Chapters, State procurement departments, Chapters of Supply Chain Management Association of Canada.
A New One-Day Workshop by Michael Asner
Safeguarding the Evaluation Process
This workshop focusses on the Evaluation Process and in it Michael discusses issues often neglected or not considered by procurement managers including the use of risk as an evaluation factor and what the courts expect in terms of documentation.
Developed for procurement managers and their staff to help them ensure that the evaluation process can survive scrutiny by the public and by a disgruntled vendor’s lawyer.
This workshop contains the collected experiences of people who have already traveled this road – made mistakes, discovered truths and completed the work successfully. This workshop is based on real-life experience. You will learn from the experience of other organizations:
- The meaning of fair, open and transparent as it applies to the evaluation process
- Issues not usually considered such as using risk as an evaluation factor or issuing a draft RFP
- Insights into the evaluation of costs and how to keep proposals within budget
- An in-depth discussion of an entire evaluation process from briefing the evaluation committee through to the development of the recommendation memo
Creating Winning Proposals/Selling to Government
We all know that the key to all successful proposal writing is to make sure you zero in on your audience’s needs and requirements. Writing for the government market is no exception. Yet, while there are many general guidelines on how to write and format your proposal, they are often just that: ‘general’. In this workshop, you will learn:
- How to create a winning proposal
- What a real evaluator goes through in assessing your proposal
- The major problems you must avoid
- The critical success factors for winning
This seminar tells you the real goods on what evaluators actually do when evaluating your proposal, and then how you can use that information to your advantage.
Michael provides advice and assistance to lawyers and senior public administrators involved in litigation or potential litigation related to public procurement. Typically, he reviews the procurement documents and the pleadings and provides the legal team with his analysis of the procurement issues involved and the alternative courses of action. This sometimes leads to being deposed; rarely, does he actually testify.
Michael also assists Contract Managers in the resolution of contract disputes by providing them with independent analysis of the situation and information about alternative ways of resolving the issues.
Michael has been qualified as an expert witness on public procurement issues and best practices in several states and with the Federal Court in the US and several provinces in Canada.
He has been retained by the following law firms:
- Shores, Jardine LLP (Edmonton, Alberta) Retained to assist in a challenge to an award for more than $400 million based on an RFP. Analyzed documents, submitted an expert opinion and testified at the hearing.
- Givens Pursley LLP (Boise, ID) Retained as an expert in public procurement to review a contract award based on an RFP. Analyzed documents and advised the plaintiff's legal team about fair and impartial proposal evaluation practices. Arbor v. State of Idaho.
- Mullins Law Firm, P.C. (Atlanta, GA) Retained as expert in public procurement to perform a review of pleadings and other documents; to generate an opinion related to certain procurement practices at issue in a civil suit: Thompson Building Wrecking Company et al v. August Georgia et al
- Wolf, Bock Schorr and Solis-Cohen, LLP (Philadelphia, PA) I assisted Counsel in the preparation of its case protesting a procurement award made by the State of New Jersey.
- Greenberg Traurig, LLP (Phoenix, AZ) Retained as an expert in public procurement to review a contract award based on an RFP. Analyzed documents and advised the defendants' legal team about fair and impartial proposal evaluation practices. American Traffic Solutions vs Redflex Traffic Systems et al.
- Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel Retained as an expert in public procurement to assist in a Federal Court case in NJ.
- Lax O’Sullivan Scott Lisus, LLP (Toronto, Ontario) Retained to assist in a challenge to the fairness of an RFP for more than $200 million in services.
ABOUT MICHAEL ASNER
MICHAEL ASNER is recognized as one of North America’s leading speakers, consultants, and authors dealing with public sector procurement and the Request for Proposal process. He helps government entities improve their RFP practices and documents. He acts as an RFP Advisor or Fairness Officer on high-risk, high-value procurements. He frequently assists lawyers in procurement cases. His clients include cities, counties and public agencies in Canada and the U.S.
Michael Also assists private sector firms in understanding how to sell to government and how to create winning proposals.
He offers RFP training and workshops throughout North America dealing with both RFP issues (for governments) and proposal writing (for private sector firms).
Michael has published extensively about the RFP Process. His textbook, The Request For Proposal Handbook, now in its fifth edition, is in use in more than 5000 organizations.
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