Allentown has been awarded the prestigious 26th Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement® (AEP) for 2021 from the National Procurement Institute, Inc. (NPI).
The AEP Award is earned by public and non-profit agencies that demonstrate a commitment to procurement excellence. This annual program recognizes procurement organizations that embrace Innovation, Professionalism, Productivity, Leadership and e-Procurement.
Allentown is the only Pennsylvania city to receive the honor.
The AEP program encourages the development of excellence as well as continued organizational improvement to earn the award annually.
The city will receive a 26th annual special edition trophy in the coming months.
According to NPI, for 2021, there were 179 successful applicants including 63 cities, 40 counties, 36 special districts, 19 school districts, 12 higher education agencies, seven state or provincial agencies and two others.
In addition, the city has been notified that Allentown Deputy Finance Director Jessica Baraket, who was the city’s Purchasing Director and Interim Finance Director in 2020, has successfully attained the competency-based qualifications set forth by the Institute for Public Procurement (NIGP) Certification Commission for public procurement leaders and has earned the prestigious NIGP Certified Procurement Professional certification (NIGP-CPP).
In a letter to city Finance Director Seth O’Neill, the NIGP said, “It is the only certification that is anchored in the Public Procurement Competency Framework. The Framework is rooted in research produced by the Volcker Alliance that seeks effective public service through workforce competencies. It is the only certification that targets mid to executive level procurement leaders in the public sector. It is the only certification that integrates with NIGP's Pathways program featuring competency development within 33 learning modules. And it is the only certification that expands beyond public procurement's technical aspects and assesses the more holistic competencies needed to be successful leader within a public entity, embracing elements of leadership, business principles, and procurement strategy.”
“I could not be more proud of the recognition earned by the purchasing department and Jessica,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell. “Jessica, Seth and the entire finance department faced a monumental task in 2020 trying to accurately forecast our revenues while the pandemic slowed the economy to a crawl. They worked tirelessly with other department heads to trim expenses to make ends meet. The recognition is well deserved.”