With 2009 still fresh in our minds, here's a brief rundown of some of the most-read stories that appeared on the GovPro.com Web site in the past year.

Green government and efforts to become more energy efficient were important topics addressed in GovPro.com during 2009. Initiatives that governments started in response to the recession also were frequent topics addressed in GovPro.com last year.

Set your Web browser to GovPro.com to read about government products, procurement, administration and related topics in 2010.

1. Procurement analyst: a hot job in a cold economy

There's growing demand for procurement and contracting analysts — so much so that the job title popped up in a list of the top 10 jobs that are still in demand by employers. Boston-based Northeastern University's College of Business Administration compiled the list, which is based on hiring trends and feedback from recruiters who visit the college.

2. Espresso machines perk up interest in district procurement practices

Changes are brewing in the Chicago Public Schools' purchasing policies now that the district's inspector general has reviewed the acquisition of 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for use in a high school program. Total value of the coffeemakers: $67,928.

3. GSA opens electronic marketplace to non-federal agencies

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has opened its e-Buy online request service to state and local governments. Non-federal agencies now have faster and more direct access to many of the same vendors for products and services that federal agencies use, according to the GSA.

4. Stimulus funds will help keep police officers on the payroll

President Obama's stimulus package will provide a much-needed boost for cash-strapped law enforcement agencies struggling to maintain adequate staffing levels — and, in some cases, for agencies struggling to maintain a staff at all. The stimulus legislation, which Obama signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, includes $4 billion in grant funding for state, local and tribal law enforcement efforts.

5. Nine common misconceptions about ethics

For public purchasers, state or municipal codes grant us specific direction and authority to conduct the responsibilities of our positions ethically, fairly and impartially. These statutes, codes and rules provide clearly defined direction on ethical behavior. However, it is in the "gray areas," where clarity may be lacking, that we are challenged to make correct ethical decisions. The gray edges of ethical conduct are often misunderstood, and this article highlights some common misconceptions - and hopefully helps to highlight the ethical path.

6. Stimulus bill funds water infrastructure projects

The recently approved $787 billion economic stimulus package has $7 billion set aside for drinking-water and wastewater infrastructure projects. While significant, that $7 billion is just a drop in the bucket compared with the work needed to bring the nation's aging water systems up to date.

7. Waste-to-energy plant construction picking up steam

Local governments are showing increased interest in having waste-to-energy (WTE) plants process their trash and produce electricity. According to Frank Ferraro, vice president of public affairs at Hampton, N.H.-based Wheelabrator Technologies, government interest in WTE plants is being driven by high energy costs, near-capacity landfills and a need to boost revenue.

8. Procurement takes center stage

This winter, we interviewed procurement directors from five states to learn how the recession is affecting procurement operations in their states, how they are ensuring operational continuity in the face of severe budget cuts and what silver lining, if any, can be found amid the dark economic clouds.

9. GSA to play prominent role in stimulus distribution

With $5.55 billion of President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package slated for federal green building projects and another $300 million set aside for the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles for federal agencies, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) expects to play a key role in advancing the goals of the legislation.

10. NASPO honors innovative state procurement programs

The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) has presented its annual George Cronin Award for Procurement Excellence to three cutting-edge state purchasing programs.

11. Governments: Prime customers for roofing materials and roof repairs

No question about it, local, state and federal governments are major consumers of roofing materials. A quick check on the BidNet bid library shows a total of 432 bid solicitations over the past three months from local, state and federal government agencies in the United States that are seeking bids on roofing materials or roof repair, replacement, sealing, renovation and other roof construction projects.

12. Windmill-driven aeration works wonders for the water supply — and habitat

Windmill-driven aeration, widely used in agricultural and recreational bodies of water due to its low capital cost and energy freedom, is becoming increasingly popular in municipal applications such as water storage, golf courses and public parks.

13. Flawless inauguration, thanks to well-planned purchasing operation

The District of Columbia's Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) now can relax. Six months of planning and hard work led to a well-received presidential inauguration ceremony that came off without a hitch.

14. Putting stimulus funds to work on roof repairs

In Louisville, Ky., and Phoenix, Ariz., local government officials are using federal stimulus funds to pay for new or upgraded roofs on public buildings.

15. Traffic bollards stand up to high-impact crashes

More and more government agencies are installing bollards for security and vehicle traffic control.

16. Planting the seeds for a green code

The concept of a public purchasing green code had been percolating in the procurement community for some time. Recently, government administrators have started asking their procurement staffs to implement a green code.

17. Experts: Vendors, be prepared for spike in demand during "federal buying season."

The federal government's fiscal year ends September 30, and that means loads of selling opportunities for savvy government marketers in the weeks and months before September 30.

18. Parenting your P-card program

Support, discipline and proper guidance create a successful independent P-card program for government agencies.

19. Report: Stimulus package is a roadmap to future tech spending

The 2009 ARRA stimulus package legislation totaled over 2,500 pages with nearly $800 billion in appropriations, according to an analysis by INPUT, a Reston, Va.-based information resource on government business.

20. More businesses turning to the government market

While the economic news in the private sector over the past few years has been consistently grim, government agencies continue to buy goods and services at a steady pace — and savvy vendors are adjusting their sales and marketing strategies accordingly.

Set your Web browser to GovPro.com to read about government products, procurement, administration and related topics in 2010.