Cooperative Purchasing - Get Listed

The purpose of cooperative purchasing groups is to become more efficient in the bidding process, comply with State bidding requirements, and identify qualified vendors of commodities, goods, and services. Cooperative purchasing groups simplify the process of finding vendors, save time by centralizing the process of searching for vendors, and many other benefits.

At its most fundamental level, cooperative practice takes two forms: "Joint Solicitation" and "Piggybacking".

Joint solicitation is the intentional coming together of two or more agencies to aggregate their individual product and service needs (a.k.a. "purchasing volume") into a single solicitation effort. Each participant agency is bound to the resulting contract resulting from the singular effort. Prospective suppliers have a clear understanding of the volume and service level requirements necessary to support the committed agencies.

Piggybacking is the use of a contract by another agency that was not, itself, a party to the original solicitation and contract award. Agencies choosing to piggyback on another agency's contract are bound by the terms, conditions and pricing provided for by the contract.

Some of the Bexar County cooperative purchasing entities & networks include:

State of Texas Co-Op Purchasing Program
U.S. CommunitiesTexas Multiple Award Schedule (TXMAS)
Department of Information Resources (DIR)
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
The Inter-Local Purchasing System (TIPS USA)
Texas Association of School Boards (BuyBoard Program)
Links to other local / state / federal governmental opportunities can be found in the Opportunity Link

Several laws allow local governments to purchase goods and services using contracts competed previously by the state or other governments.

There are many programs that are enabled by the statutes. The Bexar County Purchasing Manual explains the programs and provides basic procedures for using these methods of procurement. In all of these programs, the Purchasing Agent is authorized to act for Bexar County Per Texas Local Government Code 262 in all matters relating to the purchasing program, including the purchase of goods and services from the vendor under any contract. Bexar County is responsible for making payments directly to the vendor.

The purchase of goods and services, made with the use of cooperative purchasing agreements or programs, will be in accordance with the Texas Local Government Code Chapter 262, Purchasing and Contracting Authority of Counties and the Local Government Code Chapter 271, Subchapter F (Cooperative Purchasing Program), and the Bexar County Administrative Purchasing Policy No. 8.1 (PDF).