In this series, Brian Alexander of CoProcure helps break down the ins and outs of public purchasing. CoProcure is an early-stage venture-backed startup optimizing local public procurement by helping local governments share contracts.
Cooperative purchasing can save government staff time and achieve cost savings. But if you’re new to cooperative purchasing, navigating the diligence process can be tricky.
Here’s a general diligence checklist that can help you quickly evaluate whether or not you can use a cooperative contract.
Note that while most states and local governments allow for cooperative purchasing, specific requirements can vary from one entity to the next. This checklist is intended as a general guide that covers the basic diligence requirements for most public agencies. Please confirm your agency’s specific requirements before making a purchase.
Cooperative purchasing diligence starter checklist:
☐ Contract term: The contract is still active, and it will be active for the duration of the time you’ll need to use it.
☐ Contract scope: The goods and services you want to purchase are included in the contract scope.
☐ Lead agency: The lead agency is a public agency.
☐ Competitive bidding: The contract was created through a formal competitive bidding process.
☐ Cooperative language: The original bid solicitation and contract contain cooperative language.
☐ Source documents: You can access and review source documents. Typically, you’ll want to see the original bid solicitation and any addenda, the executed contract, and any contract amendments or modifications. In some cases, you may also want to evaluate the bid tabulation, vendor’s response, and/or proof of advertisement.
You can find cooperative contracts for the goods and services you need, for free, using CoProcure. Search thousands of cooperative contracts from national and regional cooperatives, states, and local agencies and quickly filter your results based on your diligence requirements.
Brian Alexander recently completed his Master of Public Policy from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and a public policy internship with CoProcure. Previously, he served as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Maryland Governor’s Office for Children with a focus on reducing the impact of parental incarceration on children and families. He also helped expand the use of federal nutrition programs in Maryland with Share Our Strength, a national nonprofit working to end childhood hunger in America.