Ed Management Services


Cooperative Purchasing

It is important to note that only governmental entities that have participated in the cooperative bid as outlined below are authorized to make purchases on successful bids pursuant to the Agreement. School districts and BOCES may not "piggyback" onto the purchasing contracts of other governmental agencies (i.e., school districts or BOCES) except as allowed under §104 of the General Municipal Law which permits schools and others to purchase from the "State Contracts" prepared by the Office of General Services (OGS) and/or under provisions of §103 of General Municipal Law, allowing purchases through the county under certain circumstances.

Under the provision of §119-o of the General Municipal Law, school districts and BOCES have the power to enter into agreements among themselves to do jointly all that which they are empowered to do individually.

Section 119-o of the General Municipal Law permits school districts and/or other governmental subdivisions to jointly purchase goods and services by cooperatively preparing specifications, advertising for and opening bids and awarding contracts. Generally, in a cooperative bid, one of the parties to the co-op bid acts as lead or agent and coordinates the specification writing, receiving of the bid proposals and provides the place for opening the bids.

Cooperative purchasing is the procedure of submitting written specifications and quantity needs to vendors to obtain the advantage of volume buying. When the volume purchase equals or exceeds the limits established by General Municipal Law §103 requiring formal bidding, it is the responsibility of each individual member of the cooperative purchase arrangement to ensure that the advertisement for the solicitation of bids is placed in the "official" newspapers of the district and the governing body of each of the participants is responsible for awarding their portion of the bid by resolution at a public meeting.

The benefits to be derived from increasing purchasing volume by regional activity gains added attraction as part of a cost effective purchasing program stretching school resources. Such an arrangement should provide all parties with the economies of large scale purchasing. When anticipating entering into such arrangements the following procedures are provided for your assistance:

  1. Any agreement entered into must have the approval of the governing bodies of each district willing to participate.
  2. The costs of operation are prorated in accordance with the volume of purchases and use of these arrangements by each participating district.
  3. Such joint operations may be coordinated by any of its members or a Board of Cooperative Educational Services can act as the coordinating agent.
  4. Each participant should appoint a representative to serve on a coordinating committee, generally chaired by the coordinating agent, which will concern itself with matters such as the following:
  1. Needed quality standards
  2. Desirable quantities to satisfy the districts needs and to attract bidders
  3. Packaging, labeling and delivery requirements
  4. Samples to be required
  5. Bid security to be required (if any)
  6. Preparation of notice to bidders, general conditions and specifications
  7. Newspapers to carry local advertisement covering all participants
  8. To whom bid invitations will be sent
  9. Time schedule for legal notice, issuing bid invitation, bid call tabulation, and recommendation
  10. Sharing of cost

5. A notice of requirements is sent to vendors and advertised pursuant to General Municipal Law §103 inviting them to submit bids. In inviting bids, it is important to give complete specifications for each item, the purchase unit, and the quantity required.

6. Bids should be kept sealed and confidential until the designated time for opening. Sealed envelopes containing the bids should be time stamped to indicate the date, time, and place of receipt. Special colored and marked envelopes are recommended for each individual item being bid so that all bids for that product or commodity grouping can be opened at the same time. The bids should be placed in a locked receptacle until the time specified for opening. A bidder may wish to change his quotation before the bids are closed. If this occurs, there should be no objection on the part of the bid coordinator. Bids received after the time and date specified for bid opening must be rejected. Late bids may be returned unopened to the bidder.

7. Formal bids result in a contract awarded by the governing body and should contain all the essentials of a contract. A contract should contain four basic elements: (1) agreement (meeting of minds) resulting from an offer and acceptance; (2) consideration or obligation; (3) competent (responsible) parties; and (4) a lawful purpose. All contracts should be dated to indicate when the contractual relationship begins.

 For additional assistance contact Educational Management Services at (518) 474-6541.

Last Updated: February 1, 2022