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Is California Reinventing the RFP Process?

By January 16, 2019No Comments

It isn’t often that a governmental Executive Order catches the eye for its potential impact on procurement.

Last week, on his first day on the job, newly elected Governor of California Gavin Newsom signed into law Executive Order N-04-19.  In it, he instructs state agencies across California to implement a new iterative procurement process called an “Innovation Procurement Sprint”.  The cornerstone of the Innovation Procurement Sprint will be a “Request for Innovative Ideas (RFI)”.

In a nutshell, this creates a formal process that enables California to buy for outcomes, rather than to a specification.  

The idea of buying for outcomes is not new (check out Vested’s Sourcing Business Models) and it is something that we passionately believe in here at Art of Procurement. However, we rarely see this approach in practice (listen to GuideWell’s journey to adopt Sourcing Business Models).  

Time will tell how agencies across California implement this Executive Order – CalFire is the first agency that will be putting the framework to the test. However, it is great to see a state government with such scale – California as a State would be the fifth largest economy in the world – formalizing such an approach. Should they succeed, it could finally catalyze the death of the traditional RFP.

To dig deeper, check out the Executive Order – it includes an overview of the process that California intends to adopt.


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