My Experience as a New Procurements Officer

(...And lessons learned).

Brooke Green

Procurement is a vast array of processes and policies that can be overly complex and evolving. As someone coming into a grants’ procurement officer position, who has been in the procurement public sector for over 5 years, it has been quite interesting in many ways. Having the public knowledge of how the procurement process works and how it functions on the public sector end is great but transitioning into a private sector as a 3rd party position overseeing grants and procurement comes with its learning curves. During this transition process I have learned some key lessons that are beneficial to share.

Lesson 1: Gathering Information is Key

  • Utilize the resources available to you to help learn about the many aspects of serving as a private 3rd party liaison for a public agency.
  • Be prepared to spend a great deal of time learning and reading about grants on many federal and local agency levels.
  • Be a great notes taker. These will be great resources to go back to as you embark on projects within your role.
  • Create resources and reference guides to help you find information quickly when you are in your daily tasks. This will help you work both efficiently and accurately.

Lesson 2: Expand Your Knowledge Base

  • Procurement is the one industry that is consistently evolving and changing. So, it is vital that you stay current on legislative changes and regulations as they may impact your projects.
  • Networking is a key component in having a vast array of resourceful contacts to collaborate with on issues that are not easily clear to understand or interpret.
  • Read As Much as Possible: Grants and procurement are so complex, and it is vital that you spend some of your own private time learning and growing to help expand your knowledge base.
  • Attend Trainings and Conferences: This is helpful in many ways as it helps you stay current on requirements. It is also a wonderful way to both network and exchange knowledge within this field to help you grow as a professional.

Procurement is the central hub for how taxpayers’ dollars are not only spent but regulated to be sure costs are allocated correctly and efficiently. Grants play a key role in this when it comes to federal and local taxpayers’ money being spent appropriately. As a procurement officer your duty is to be as well versed in the regulations and requirements so that you can bring the best benefit to the projects you oversee and monitor. As a procurement professional it is your responsibility to be insightful, educated and prepared to serve your role with the greatest capacity. 

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