Bidding Cost Control
May 29, 1998
A purchasing program to reduce building costs has been available to schools since 1953. The program permits schools (public and non- public) to take advantage of pricing offered through the State Office of General Services (OGS). This program extends State Contract pricing to public and private schools. A wide variety of materials, equipment and supplies are pre-bid by OGS using its statewide purchasing volume to minimize costs. OGS staff determine and control quality to meet most needs. Nearly 400 items are on the index ranging from trucks, technology, telecommunications, services, carpeting, fuel oil to furniture, office supplies to road salt. Of particular interest to schools doing capital construction projects is the ability to select materials at known prices. Some recent projects have saved up to 30 percent on specific items purchased in this manner.
By referencing the State Contract you immediately let the bidders know the competitive cost of the item being specified and the exact performance requirements you desire. You may still get substitutions, but they should be in line with the State Contract prices and it will be easier to determine their relative quality. Additionally you must check with the current OGS listings as items are contracted for specific time periods.
The only change in the normal bidding process is that your architect or engineer uses the State Contract Specification rather than specifying by brand name or manufacturer name. The architect or engineer then provides a bid alternate which allows the school to provide the material at their option. Contractors cannot purchase from State Contract. Use of this process should be reviewed by the school attorney. In addition, you must consider the overall savings for your specific project as there are costs associated with coordination, delivery, handling and storage when the school provides the material.
To take advantage of this process the school must be prepared to purchase materials from OGS contracts, as the contractor cannot. Further, the school should be registered with OGS. There is no charge for the service. For more information, visit the OGS website at http://www.ogs.state.ny.us , or contact:
NYS Office of General Services
Procurement Services Group
3711 Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12242
fax: (518) 474-2437
tel: (518) 474-6717
OGS will supply your school with information on using OGS contracts to purchase commodities, as well as technology, services and telecommunications.