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September 23, 2019
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Home > Cooperative Purchasing > FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q. What is Cooperative Purchasing?

    A. A program coordinated by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments to assist its member jurisdictions save money on the purchase of commodities and services through economies of scale and through the reduction of administrative costs.

  2. Q. Who participates in Cooperative Purchasing?

    A. There are over 40 purchasing departments that participate in COG's Cooperative Purchasing Program. They include COG's 18 member jurisdictions, other local governments in the region as well as school boards and other agencies including the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and a number of the region's water and sewer authorities.

  3. Q. How does the program work?

    A. The program has two mechanisms the "Rider Clause" and the "Joint Solicitation".

    1. The Rider Clause - This is a clause in a jurisdiction's solicitation asking bidders if they will be willing to sell to other jurisdictions in the region, that participate in the COG Cooperative Purchasing Program, under the same terms and conditions as those stipulated in the issuing jurisdiction's solicitation, for the same price as being bid to the issuing jurisdiction. There is no obligation on behalf of the vendor to sell to those other jurisdictions and there is no obligation on behalf of the other jurisdictions to buy from the vendor. It is a way to allow for jurisdictions to quickly purchase commodities and services, knowing that a competitive solicitation process has been completed. Download copy of COG Rider Clause.

    2. Joint Solicitation - This is an Invitation for Bids (IFB) or Request for Proposals (RFP) being issued by a single jurisdiction that includes the requirements from other participating jurisdictions. The other jurisdictions agree to purchase from the vendor selected by the issuing jurisdictions. This method allows for combining the regions requirements for a commodity or service to take advantage of the region's large purchasing power.

  4. Q. What kinds of commodities and services are purchased through the Cooperative Purchasing Program?

    A. Commodities that are purchased in bulk with standard specifications such as Heating Fuel, Gasoline, Diesel Fuel, and Antifreeze have been successful cooperative purchases. Services such as the pick-up and disposal of hazardous waste or used oil have all been successful cooperative purchases.

  5. Q. How are commodities or services selected for Cooperative Purchasing?

    A. The jurisdictions, school boards and authorities purchasing agents make recommendations for commodities and services and volunteer to serve as a lead jurisdiction.

  6. Q. How much does the Cooperative Purchasing Program save?

    A. The program saves the region approximately $2 million annually.

  7. Q. How can a regional jurisdiction, school board or authority participate in Cooperative Purchasing?

    A. They should contact Rick Konrad, COG Cooperative Purchasing Program Manager, for more information at 202-962-3332 or email.

  8. Q. How can a vendor participate in the Cooperative Purchasing Program?

    A. The vendor needs to be on the bidders lists of the purchasing department of the lead jurisdiction issuing the solicitation.

  9. Q. Does COG maintain a regional bidders list?

    A. COG does not maintain a regional bidders list.

  10. Q. Is there a fuller description of the Cooperative Purchasing Program?

    A. See the Users Guide to Cooperative Purchasing on the COG Web Site.

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