About Cooperative Purchasing
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NASPO >> About Cooperative Purchasing


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  • NASPO/WSCA Cooperative Contracts use a "lead state" model to carefully ensure open, competitive cooperative contracts. The lead state owns and manages the contract.
  • NASPO/WSCA Cooperative Contracts have been awarded by a competitive solicitation process, usually an RFP, to all contracted vendors in compliance with the lead state's statutory requirements.
  • NASPO/WSCA Cooperative Contracts Fact Sheet

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  • "LEAD STATE" means the State conducting a cooperative solicitation and centrally administering any price agreement and award.
  • "PARTICIPATING STATE" means a member of NASPO or WSCA that has indicated its intent to participate by signing an Intent to Contract, or who subsequently signs a Participating Addendum where required.
  • "PARTICIPATING ADDENDUM" means a bilateral agreement executed by the contractor and a Participating State (or a political subdivision with the consent of its State Procurement Official) that clarifies the operation of the price agreement for the State concerned (e.g. ordering procedures specific to that State) and may add other state-specific language or other requirements.
  • "PURCHASING ENTITY" means a Participating State or other legal entity (such as a political subdivision properly authorized by a Participating State) that enters into a contract for the purchase of goods described in the cooperative solicitation.
  • "OFFER" or "BID" or "PROPOSAL" generally refers to the offer submitted in response to a solicitation, whether denominated as an invitation to bid, invitation for bid, request for proposal, or otherwise.  "BIDDER" or "OFFEROR" similarly refers to the person, company, or other entity submitting the bid or proposal that constitutes an offer capable of acceptance, regardless of the solicitation method used.
  • "PERMISSIVE PRICE AGREEMENT" means that Purchasing Entities' placement of orders through the price agreement is discretionary.  Purchasing Entities may satisfy their requirements through the price agreement without using statutory or regulatory procedures (e.g. invitations for bids) to solicit competitive bids or proposals.  Purchasing Entities may, however, satisfy requirements without using the price agreement so long as applicable procurement states and rules are followed.
  • "INTENT TO PARTICIPATE" means the form executed by a State Procurement Official that describes the cooperative procurement and signifies the State's willingness to enter into the cooperative procurement.

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The NASPO/WSCA Cooperatives are cooperatives of state chief procurement officials working together to use cooperative contracts as a way to be effective and efficient in procuring commodities and services (though limited in scope).

If your state is listed on the contract web page linked below as participating, you should contact your state's central procurement office to determine how to use the contract.  In many cases, the "cooperative" contract is simply assigned a state contract number and treated just like any other state contract.  You might, in fact, not even easily recognize it as a multi-state cooperative contract.

If your state is NOT listed on the contract web page linked below, you should contact the NASPO/WSCA Cooperative Development Team () for assistance.  They will work with you, your state's chief procurement official and the lead state contract administrator to determine if you may purchase off a particular cooperative contract.

You should understand that your own state's statutes will determine participation, regardless of the situation in any other state.

Using a NASPO cooperative contract requires the acknowledgement of your state's chief procurement official, regardless of whether or not the state has any "control" over your purchasing authority.

Understanding the 4-Way Relationship

NASPO Cooperative contracts create a four-way relationship between the lead state, a participating entity, an end user, and a contractor.  Understanding this relationship is essential to a successful cooperative contract purchase.

  1. The LEAD STATE'S ROLE is to develop, solicit, evaluate, award, and manage a specific cooperative contract.  This is done under a set of procedures and with a set of terms and conditions established by NASPO, but must also be completely valid and proper under the lead state's procurement requirements.
  2. The PARTICIPATING ENTITY in most cases will be a "state central procurement operation."  In other cases, a state in the cooperative's region will not participate but may grant permission for another entity in that state to participate in the cooperative contract.  In other cases, a state chief procurement official may choose to participate so that local units of government may have access to a cooperative contract, but might restrict or limit the participation of its own state agencies. 
  3. The END USER is any entity authorized by state statute or agreement to use its state's contracts or authorized to participate independently by its state procurement official.  The end user must follow all of its state's internal requirements and procedures for using these cooperative contracts.  The LEAD STATE and NASPO have completed an open and competitive solicitation and award.  However, the END USER must follow all of its state's internal requirements and procedures for using these cooperative contracts.  Note also that all existing expenditure limits still apply in cooperative purchasing--for example, if your ordinances say that any expenditure over $10,000 must go before the Board, then ANY order over $10,000 off of a NASPO cooperative contract MUST go before the Board.
  4. The CONTRACTOR is any business or person who wishes to bid on a cooperative contract.  Neither NASPO nor WSCA maintain a vendor registration program.  Vendors wishing to bid on a cooperative solicitation must contact the lead and/or administering state.  All NASPO and WSCA cooperative contracts are awarded on a competitive basis.  Contractors may NOT be added after the deadline specified in the solicitation document for receipt of responses.  Vendors may click here to explore existing NASPO/WSCA cooperative opportunities.

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Dean Stotler

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State of Delaware

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