David P. Gragan is the Senior Procurement Executive with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of the Treasury. He most recently served as the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) for the District of Columbia.  He has been a public procurement professional since 1993, when he became CPO for the State of Indiana, and subsequently served the State of Texas in the same role.  David spent several years as a consultant to state and local governments on procurement reform, working for Accenture, Oracle and Silver Oak Solutions/CGI. He is a past president of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), and has served on their board of directors for a number of years. He is the vice chair of the Universal Public Purchasing Certification Council, the certifying body for state and local government procurement professionals. He currently sits on the Executive Advisory Board of the National Contract Management Association. David has been honored with the distinguished service awards of both NASPO and the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP).  He is a Certified Public Procurement Officer, and a life member of NASPO. Before embarking on his public procurement career, he was an intelligence officer in the United States Marine Corps.  David graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and the University of Southern California.

The Public Contracting Process in Support of Entrepreneurial Solutions

The challenges facing social entrepreneurs in moving great ideas to scale in the public sector often center on issues of funding and support. Funding typically comes from grants or contracts, both of which can be considered government procurements. But, the public procurement process is designed to be as much a controlling process as it is a facilitating process. By this I mean that the centralized control that governments exercise over expenditures is meant to ensure the public ‘gets what it paid for.’ The foundations of central financial controls in government embrace and support the concepts of public trust, deliberation, full…