Forms of Cooperative Purchasing

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Joint-Bid Cooperatives—The authors of “Advanced Public Procurement” assert that joint bid arrangements are a more formal type of intergovernmental cooperative purchasing in which two or more public procurement agencies agree on specifications and contract terms and conditions for a given item or items of common usage and combine their requirements for this item in a single request for competitive sealed bids.1  Once the bids have been received and discussed by the participants, each public procurement agency issues and administers its own purchase order(s) and/or contract.2  A sponsoring entity or “lead agency” must be determined.  Usually it is the government entity with the most expertise with the technology or commodity being contracted.3

Piggyback Cooperatives—The authors of “Advanced Public Procurement” maintain that piggyback cooperatives are a less formal type of intergovernmental cooperative purchasing in which a large purchaser requests competitive sealed bids, enters into a contract, and arranges, as part of the contract, for other public procurement units to purchase from the selected vendor under the same terms and conditions as itself.4  The members of the cooperative simply order from contracts awarded by the sponsoring agency. Members choose to participate independently after the award by the sponsoring entity and place their orders with the consenting supplier.5  Purchases by local governments from the Tennessee state-wide purchasing contracts or agreements entered into by the Tennessee Department of General Services (TDGS) are examples of a piggyback cooperative.

           1National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Advanced Public Procurement, (Herndon, VA: 2001), 17.

           2ibid, 17.

           3ibid, 17.

            4ibid, 19.

            5ibid, 19.