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FAQ

FREQUENTY ASKED QUESTIONS

Texas Community College Cooperative Purchasing Network

Q: How does the cooperative work?

A: The Texas Community College Cooperative Purchasing Network (“Network”) permits members to make purchases from contracts awarded or authorized by the Network.

Q: How will the Network benefit my college?

A: Use of the Network will benefit individual colleges by reducing duplication of effort by the various colleges when bidding the same commodities.  In addition, Network contracts will take advantage of group buying power to lower costs for contract users.

Q: Is it necessary for the members to advertise locally?

A: Only the party that is soliciting the bid need advertise.  If a member is soliciting a bid on behalf of the Network, then the member shall advertise locally.  If TACC solicits the bid, advertisement will be done through TACC’s specified publications.  TACC will notify the members of pending solicitations and members have the option to advertise locally at their own expense.

Q: What does the Network do differently from other purchasing cooperatives?

A: This program is intended to focus on the needs of community colleges and is intended to supplement rather than replace other cooperatives.  After the initial program is established, consideration may be given to expanding membership outside the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

Q: How much will it cost to participate?

A: There is no fee to the participating members.  A service fee will be charged to each vendor that is awarded a contract by TACC.  The standard service fee shall be 2% of gross purchases made by members from a Network contract.  However, the fee may vary on certain contracts.  Titled vehicles (cars, trucks, vans, etc.) shall have a flat service fee of $500.00 per purchase order regardless of the quantity of vehicles ordered.

Q: Who determines how the cooperative operates?

A: The TACC’s Director of Cooperative Purchasing is the administrator of the Network.  The advisory committee will be responsible for providing guidance on the policy and procedures used in the program as well as the type of solicitations needed.  The TACC Executive Committee awards the contracts and is the ultimate controlling authority of the Network.

Q: What is the advisory committee?

A:  The advisory committee is composed of seven college members consisting of two chancellors/presidents, two business officials, and three purchasing officials.

Q: Under what laws does the Network operate?

A: Chapter 791 of the Texas Government Code permits the establishment of interlocal purchasing cooperatives. Chapter 44 of the Education Code governs how solicitations are handled.

Q: Does each member have to use the terms and conditions established by the cooperative contract?

A: Yes.  The cooperative contracts were solicited based upon specific terms and conditions stated in the bidding documents.  Minor amendments attached to individual purchase orders are allowed provided both member and contractor accept them.

Q: What is the role of the TACC Director of Cooperative Purchasing (“DCP”) as administrator of the Network?

A: The DCP will coordinate solicitation of contracts, recommend awards, maintain records of contract usage, and administer invoicing of vendors.

Q: Do member colleges have any legal obligations to other member colleges?

A: No.  The interlocal cooperative purchasing agreement expressly requires each member college to indemnify and hold harmless other members from any claim that arises as a result of the acts or omissions by the member college.

Q: How do I know the vendors are reliable and the products or services will meet our requirements?

A: While the DCP will make recommendations for award, each member must determine whether the vendor and contract’s products/services best suit the member’s needs.  Use of a contract is at the member’s discretion.

Q: How can I verify that the contract was solicited in accordance with the procurement statutes?

A: Full documentation of the solicitation process including advertisement, solicitation documents, responses, tabulations, evaluations, and award memos will be available to members.

Q: How can I get my current vendors to participate?

A: All vendors are encouraged to participate.  This increases competition, which benefits the members of the Network, and expands the market opportunities for the vendors.  Vendors should be directed to the DCP for instructions on how to bid on Network solicitations.

Q: How do I know an awarded vendor will serve my college?

A: The terms and conditions of the Network contracts will require that a vendor serve all geographic regions of the state unless the vendor specifically excludes a region in its bid submittal.  Geographic coverage will be taken into consideration when making awards and every attempt to serve all regions will be made with each award.