The following events are planned for the 2016-17 Program Year.  Event dates and presenters are posted on this page as each is finalized.

CANDID CONVERSATIONS (As speakers are confirmed, a date and information will appear below)  All sessions are held in room 148 of the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building from 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm unless otherwise noted.

  • Wednesday, December 7, 2016, John Traylor, Executive Deputy Comptroller from the NYS Office of the State Comptroller will lead a conversation about NYS procurement and opportunities for reform. Recent “pay to play” scandals in New York State are likely to spur multiple procurement reform proposals in 2017. What are some of the current issues and problems? What is the appropriate balance between speed and efficiency and accountability?  New York has some unique features to its procurement process – embodied in statute, organizational structure and historical practice that impact how business gets done.  Prior to his present role at OSC, Mr. Traylor was Chief Procurement Officer for the NYS Office of General Services. On December 13, 2016 the State Comptroller issued a press release calling for procurement reform.  Access the press release here.
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2017, Co-Sponsored by the NYS Political Science Association and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, Frank Mauro and Robert Ward will lead a conversation about federalism and intergovernmental relations and how these may be impacted by the incoming Presidential Administration. What have been the cumulative effects of the Bush-Obama years for the states? What has the President-elect signaled for policies affecting the states in general and New York in particular?  Frank Mauro is a public service professor at the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, and former Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute and former Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Robert B. Ward is the author of the widely acclaimed New York State Government, now in its second edition, published by the Rockefeller Institute Press. He is a former board member of the State Academy of Public Administration. This Candid Conversation will be held in room 115 of the Alfred E. Smith State Office Building.
  • April 20, 2017, Taking the Executive to Court:  The NYS Experience – There has been a lot of coverage in the press aimed at the Federal level of government regarding the power of the Executive (the President) and the Courts.  But what about New York?  What are some of the instances where a case involved alleged  Gubernatorial overreach?  Join the discussion where we will talk about the impact that key cases have had and what the future may hold for Executive decision making.  More information and an RSVP link can be found here!
  • June 2017 (date to be determined), Constitutional Convention – In October of 2015,  Professor Gerald Benjamin of SUNY New Paltz led a Candid Conversation about about the upcoming 2017 statewide referendum on a Constitutional Convention. The referendum is required every twenty years by the State constitution.  The session was co-sponsored by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.  A video of the SAPA session can be found here.  As we get closer to the referendum date, this Candid Conversation will be a continuation of more recent coverage in the press about the Convention. What have emerged as key issues? What are the pluses and minuses of opening up the NYS Constitution to changes.

The 2017 Public Service Excellence Awards will be held on May 22, 2017 at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in Albany. This will be the sixth year that SAPA will be presenting these awards which are a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation for a special group of outstanding public servants.

The 2016 SAPA Excellence Award winners were:

  • Jill Anderson – NYS Power Authority
  • Jeff Pitkin – NYS Energy Research & Development Authority
  • Corporate Tax Reform Team – NYS Department of Taxation and Finance

During the May 16th ceremony the Capital Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants presented its annual Outstanding Achievement in Government Accountability Award to Joseph Conroy, Chief Budget Examiner, NYS Division of the Budget.

For a full list of SAPA Awards go to this link.


  • The 2017 SAPA annual meeting will take place in June following our Candid Conversation. The exact date will be determined as we get closer to the event. 

We welcome your participation in all of our SAPA events!