Chapter 8 - Cooperative Purchases

Cooperatives are contracts where two or more named entities combine their requirements in order to realize a volume cost advantage. The university may use these contracts even if they are not named in the cooperative purchase.

8.1 Basis for Using Cooperative Programs

This form of procurement has the benefits of reducing administrative costs, eliminating duplication of effort, lowering prices, sharing information, and taking advantage of expertise and information that may be available in only one of the participating agencies.

Cooperative purchasing transactions must be legitimate and enforceable. There must be mutuality between buyers and sellers and a commitment on the part of participants in the cooperative purchasing process to purchase from the successful supplier.

8.2 Types of Cooperative Purchasing

The following are the three types of cooperative purchasing that may be used by the university:

  1. Two or more entities combine their requirements into a single request for bids. One of the participants serves as lead jurisdiction and performs the administrative details of preparing and issuing bid documents, analyzing bids and recommending award of a contract. The other participating jurisdictions commit to using the resulting contract for their requirements to be purchased. This section shall include all contracts established by U.S. Communities, Western States Cooperative Alliance, Educational and Institutional Cooperative as well as other cooperatives established for use by non-profits and institutions of higher-education.
  2. "Riding" or "piggybacking" another entity's contract. The supplier must agree to offer the commodities to the "riding" jurisdiction at the same terms and conditions as were offered to the contracting entity.
  3. Federal Contracts. Contracts established by the General Services Administration on behalf of the federal government. The terms and conditions are then granted to the university by the sponsor’s contracting officer for use by GW on the contract. 
  4. Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) An entity that is created to leverage the purchasing power of a group of businesses to obtain discounts from vendors based on the collective buying power of the GPO members.

8.3 Procedures

If a school/department becomes aware of a contract held by another entity that may be of benefit to the university, the school/department should submit a purchase requisition for the items required. The requisition should contain a notice to Procurement explaining the existence of the contract with as much information as is available to assist Procurement in locating the information needed to make the determination required by university Policy. Procurement will then contact the supplier to secure agreement to allow GW to use the contract.

From time to time, Procurement may request estimated quantities of commodities to be used by schools/departments in cooperative bid processes initiated by Procurement or other entities.