County office wins national award

KINGMAN ­ Mohave County Procurement Manager Travis Lingenfelter, C.P.M., A.P.P., accepted an Achievement in Excellence in Procurement award for the county from the National Purchasing Institute Monday at the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing's 60th annual convention.

"We've come a long way," Lingenfelter said, "and this year we are one of only two counties in Arizona to win this national honor. It is a big honor for us to win it for the first time for Mohave County."

Only six other government agencies in Arizona have received this national award: Pima County, The State of Arizona, Arizona Department of Transportation, and the cities of Tucson, Mesa and Chandler.

To be considered to receive this national award, the government agency's procurement department must receive at least 100 points based on a scale of procedural requirements. Mohave County was able to score 135 points.

When Lingenfelter came to Mohave County in July 2004, he had made the goal to turn the department into an award winning entity within a year. When he was working for Tucson, the procurement department had won this award 10 years in a row. In a year, he had the Mohave department up to the same standards.

When he started working for Mohave County, Lingenfelter found only a procurement guide that wasn't based on the ABA model procurement code. Over the past year, he has developed within the department a procurement code.

"A procurement code is the foundation of any good procurement agency," Lingenfelter said. The project took his office six months and was approved by the Board of Supervisors in January.

Since July 2004, the procurement department has been focused on making business processes simpler. Their goal is to make it less daunting or intimidating for local businesses to deal with the county government. Lingenfelter has also implemented technological innovations and has been encouraging open competition in the acquisition of goods and services.

"It is very satisfying to see such hard work recognized by organizations that truly understand the challenges we face in public sector procurement," he said.

Lingenfelter earned a Bachelor of Science in American Political Studies, Public Administration, from Northern Arizona University. He is a certified purchasing manager and an accredited purchasing practitioner.

Lingenfelter's goals for the future are to keep challenging the notion that doing business with the government procurement is a slow process. He plans to keep simplifying the processes for internal business partners as well as the local business community.

Lingenfelter said he plans to apply once again for this award next year and anticipates that they will clear the bar with even greater grace.