The Cooperative Purchasing Network Expands Services in New York

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Political subdivisions now able to accept cooperative contracts on best value versus lowest bidder.

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The effect of this bill expanded the State of New York’s ability to jointly contract for goods and services.

On Aug. 1, 2012, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Bill S5525C, Chapter 308, allowing municipalities and school districts in New York to jointly contract for goods and services with other federal, state or local government agencies. On Nov. 13, 2013 this new law was further clarified, by the enactment of bill number S3766A, which amends subdivision 16 of section 103 to the General Municipal Law to give political subdivisions the option of letting contracts based on “best value,” as an alternative to the “lowest responsible bidder.”

The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN) is a national governmental purchasing cooperative whose lead agency competitively bids and awards contracts to national vendors for commonly purchased products and services, allowing such entities to make compliant purchases at a valued rate.

Purchasing through a cooperative has proven to reduce administrative and production costs, increase efficiencies and stretch shrinking budgets during difficult times. With TCPN contracts, the competitive bid process has already been completed for public agencies.

All TCPN contracts are awarded by a single lead public agency, Region 4 Education Service Center, using a competitive solicitation process consistent with applicable procurement laws and regulations. Each solicitation contains language that advises all suppliers that the contract may be used by other government agencies throughout the United States.

City and county governments, municipalities, schools, BOCES, universities, higher education, religious organizations and nonprofits are eligible to use such cooperative purchasing. Over 37,000 entities across the nation are already actively using at least one TCPN contract. TCPN provides access to hundreds of national vendors for commonly purchased products and services, including furniture, office and school supplies, tools, computers, rental equipment, p-card solutions, public safety supplies, and much more. All TCPN contracts are non-exclusive and there are no restrictions on the amount or size of any order.

TCPN’s lead agency’s processes are ISO certified and the organization routinely monitors vendor contracts through third-party audits and regular reviews to ensure vendor accountability. These processes assist entities in adhering to compliance issues, procurement laws and regulations.

“The effect of this bill expanded the State of New York’s local governments, municipalities, BOCES, and school districts the ability to jointly contract for goods and services.” said Chris Penny, TCPN Vice President. “The new legislation gives public agencies additional opportunities to purchase products and services in an efficient and cost-saving manner.”

Public agencies can participate with TCPN at Registration is free and no purchase is required to be a member.


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