Cooperative Agreements

Jon Manning, CPPB
Buyer II, County of Placer
October 10, 2014
Please note that agencies should always check with their legal counsel first before
using any of the cooperative contracts, other cooperative purchasing options, or any
other information provided in this presentation.
 A cooperative agreement represents the mutual needs for the same
goods or services of two or more organizations/agencies.
 Two or more agencies that combine
 Independent agency/organization
their requirements for similar goods
or services into one competitive
solicitation (RFP, IFB, etc.) to obtain
volume pricing.
 Requires collaborative effort to
develop specifications, terms, and
conditions for bid document.
 Typically a “lead agency” will
conduct the competitive process.
whose primary purpose is to award
contracts representing the common
requirements of two or more
 Most third-party aggregators require
agencies to become members of
their cooperative before using their
 Contracts are managed by the
independent agency/organization.
 Multiple agencies that purchase
goods or services off a single
contract that was awarded by another
 Also known as “piggyback”, “rider”,
or “bridge” contracts.
 Typically cooperative contracts
specifically state within the
competitive solicitation that other
agencies may use the resulting
 Saves time/effort
 Cost savings
 Higher quality of products/services
 Program rebates (if applicable)
 Solid enforceable contract
 Convenience
 Efficient delivery
 Allows your agency to focus on other
 Expanded pricing tiers (if applicable)
 Pricing is not always guaranteed to be lowest or
best value
 Operational/logistical problems
 Not enough contract choices/options
 Lack of service/not responsive to customer
service related issues
 Lack of transparency (contract docs)
 Scope of work/specifications may not fully meet
your agency’s needs
 Typically does not include/consider local
 Office Supplies
 Audio/Visual Equipment
 IT Hardware
 Vehicles
 Heavy Equipment
 Furniture
 Food
 Scientific/Lab Equipment  Footwear and Uniforms
& Supplies
 Classroom Supplies
 Fuel
 Mowers/Grounds
Maintenance Equipment
 Building/Construction
Supplies and Hardware
 Janitorial Supplies
 Logistics Services
 Drugs/Pharmaceuticals
 Mailing Equipment
 Auto Parts
 Exercise Equipment
 Document Shredding
 Office Machines (copiers)
 Electronic/Offender
Monitoring Services
 Cloud Hosting Services
 WSCA-NASPO Cooperative Purchasing Organization -
 National IPA -
 National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) -
 State of California Department of General Services -
 US Communities -
 The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN) -
 National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA) –
 ProcureSource (Cooperative Contract Directory) -
 CalACT/MBTA Purchasing Cooperative (Transit Vehicles) -
 CalSAVE (School equipment and supplies, IT solutions) -
 FireRescue Group Purchasing Organization (FRGPO) - http://www.firerescue-
 National Purchasing Partners (NPP) -
 HGACBuy -
 PEPPM Technology Bidding and Purchasing Program -
 Keystone Purchasing Network (KPN) –
 NIGP Cooperative Purchasing Programs Directory -
 Does the lead agency require membership prior to using the cooperative
 Was the contract awarded by a public agency?
 Does the agreement comply with your codes/regulations?
 Was the cooperative agreement competitively bid or negotiated?
 Is the contract current and in effect for all proposed purchases?
 Are there any fees associated with using the agreement?
 Is this cooperative agreement the most advantageous solution?
 What was the award amount of the original solicitation?
 LEGAL - Verify that your code/laws/policy allows your agency to use the
cooperative agreement.
 MEMBERSHIP – Review membership terms and conditions and related paperwork.
 DO YOUR HOMEWORK – Research the cooperative organization to determine what
type of organization the cooperative is.
 COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT – Review the following documents:
 Original solicitation (including specifications/scope)
 Evaluation and award summary
 Copy of the successful bid or proposal
 Complete final contract (signed)
 Any other documents required by the contract
 CONTRACT AWARD – Is the award sound and justifiable?
 TERMS AND CONDITIONS – Review for potential conflicts.
 RESEARCH OTHER COOPERATIVES – Look for other cooperative agreements that
might offer the same goods/services.
 Identify potential commodity to bid out
 Identify potential partner agencies
 Determine lead agency (volunteer)
 Gather information from partner agencies regarding:
 Definite quantity and delivery; or
 Indefinite quantity and delivery
 Product description
 Requirements
 Specifications
 Delivery locations
 Historical spend data
 Develop rough draft of solicitation document, specifications, scope of work/service,
delivery, terms, conditions, and sample contract.
 Send the rough draft to all participating agencies for review and comments.
 Offsets the costs of staff time and other resources for the lead agency.
 Must be stated up front in the solicitation document with the calculating
formula and provisions clearly defined.
 Understand that the higher the administrative fees are the less advantageous
the pricing will be (negates the benefit of the cooperative).
 Use vendor lists from participating agencies to send notices to.
 Advertise the solicitation in accordance with prevailing laws.
 Post the solicitation on the lead agency’s website.
 Designate one point-of-contact for inquiries/questions.
 Notify the participating agencies that the solicitation has been released and
provide them with copies of the final documents.
 Lead agency shall be responsible for all addendums, pre-proposal conferences,
 Lead agency shall receive, open, and tabulate the responses to the solicitation.
 The lead agency shall evaluate the solicitation in accordance with the prescribed
evaluation methodology.
 The lead agency shall negotiate terms and conditions and any other elements as-
 The lead agency will make a recommendation for award to their governing board
(if applicable).
 Once the solicitation has been awarded the lead agency will distribute copies of
the solicitation documents to the participating agencies.
 Lead agency shall administer its own contract award.
 Participating agencies are responsible for obtaining approval from their individual
governing bodies to execute a contract with the awarded vendor(s).
 Lead agency provides assistance in resolving problems relating to the
contract/solicitation; participating agencies can resolve problems relating to their
executed contract.
 Lead agency should develop and distribute a contractor/vendor performance
reporting form for participating agencies to use.
 Lead agency should obtain regularly scheduled contract sales reports.
 Lead agency should schedule meetings with the contract vendor(s) to review
performance reports and discuss any other related issues.
 Solid Solicitation Document and
 Include Technical Specialists/Experts
 Clear, Concise Award Documents
 Transparency/Accessible Information
 Effective Communication
 Effective Leadership
 Cooperative agreements are a great tool to agencies
 Exercise caution and due diligence – cooperatives should not be used as a “catch-all”
 Don’t be afraid to collaborate with other agencies when a common need is identified –
potential for cost savings.
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