The Texas Association of Community Colleges originally formed a cooperative purchasing program in 2000. In 2013, the original cooperative was replaced by the updated Texas Community College Cooperative Purchasing Network (“Network”). The new Network is administered by a full time Association staff member, the Director of Cooperative Purchasing. The Director is charged with insuring the program is responsive to the needs of the members and will offer a full menu of goods and services contracts to maximize benefit to the participants. The Network is available for use by all junior and community colleges in the State of Texas that elect to participate through an interlocal agreement.
The operating procedures and policy have been updated to meet current conditions. All participating colleges will execute a new resolution and interlocal agreement.
Cooperative procurement solutions offer resource challenged agencies the opportunity to gain needed operating efficiencies as well as hard dollar savings. The demonstrated effectiveness of cooperative procurement to save taxpayer dollars makes it a viable alternative to conventional, independent procurement processes.
The cooperative purchasing program is a valuable tool to obtain necessary goods and services by aggregating volume, securing best pricing, and reducing administrative overhead. Chapter 791 Government Code of the State of Texas enables the community colleges to use cooperative purchasing.
Vendors also benefit from this program. Instead of participating in many bids with the various colleges, they have only one. The time and expense of going through the competitive solicitation process for each college is avoided.
The Network uses the “piggyback” model of cooperative purchasing. Members can use the Network for any contracts and to the degree of frequency desired. There are no mandatory usage requirements.
Local suppliers are welcome to participate in Network solicitations. The Network encourages member colleges to provide information to the Network on recommended local vendors so that these vendors may be invited to participate in the appropriate solicitation. Click here for vendor information.
There is no charge to the members for participation in the program. The Network is finance by a fee charged to each vendor awarded a contract based on the volume of purchases made by the members from those contracts.
Contracts will be established through open competition as prescribed by the laws of the State of Texas. Solicitations originated by the Network will focus on goods and services needs that are unique to community colleges.
The Network will partner with participating colleges to issue solicitations containing cooperative purchasing clauses that will result in contract awards available for all Network members to utilize.
Contracts, once approved by the Network executive committee, will be made available to all Network member colleges.
Purchases orders are issued to and sent directly by the member to the vendor. A copy of the purchase order is also submitted to the Director of Cooperative Purchasing to maintain records for vendor service fees. The vendor delivers the order directly to the ordering member and then invoices the member directly. Member pays the vendor directly.
The Network will regularly communicate information to all members on new solicitations and awarded contracts, as well as facilitate dialogue among members on new goods or service contract needs.
The Network will provide various due diligence documents for each cooperative contract the Network awards. These include: