To work with the state universities and agencies to meet their procurement needs while exercising independent authority, oversight and approval to ensure and continuously improve: compliance with law, fair treatment, need-based decision-making, diversity, integrity, transparency and value.
The position of the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) was created by the General Assembly pursuant to Public Act 96-795. The Executive Ethics Commission appoints the CPO with the advice and consent of the Illinois Senate. Confirming the independent role, the CPO is appointed to a term of five years and cannot be removed except for cause after a hearing.
The CPO for Higher Education exercises independent procurement authority under the Illinois Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500) on behalf of and for the benefit of public institutions of higher education (state universities) and the Illinois Mathematics & Science Academy.
While retaining procurement authority, the CPO exercises this authority through independent State Purchasing Officers (SPOs) who report to the CPO. Each SPO is appointed to a five-year term and cannot be removed except for cause after a hearing. The SPOs have general direct oversight of the procurement activities of the university purchasing staff and give approval to proceed at various stages of the process. The SPOs work in close conjunction with purchasing staff to meet the needs of the university.
Each university employs one or more purchasing directors and professional staff to manage and implement the procurement process within the university setting in accordance with direction from the SPO. The purchasing directors and staff are key to the success of the procurement process and their roles and expertise are respected by the CPO and SPO.