U.S. Communities aggregates the purchasing power of more than 90,000 public agencies nationwide by offering Participating Public Agencies the ability to make purchases through existing, competitively solicited contracts between a supplier and a lead public agency.
When a Lead Public Agency issues a solicitation, it contains language based on the lead jurisdiction “Joint Powers Authority” or “Cooperative Procurement” program. Applying these competitive principles satisfies the competitive bid requirements for most state and local government agencies.
State statutes and, if applicable, local ordinances generally allow one government agency to purchase from contracts competitively solicited by another government agency. This requires the consent of the supplier, the Lead Public Agency and government agency purchasing from the Lead Public Agency contract. U.S. Communities contracts are established to meet both the competitive solicitation and consent requirements. Public agencies accessing U.S. Communities consent to a Master Intergovernmental Cooperative Purchasing Agreement (MICPA).
Public agencies pay no costs and are charged no fees to participate. The suppliers pay a minimum administrative fee to participate through U.S. Communities. This pays for operating expenses and offsets costs incurred by national and state sponsors.
U.S. Communities does not have a most favored customer requirement. Suppliers are required to match pricing lower than U.S. Communities only for agencies that would otherwise be eligible for lower pricing through another contract vehicle. This requirement ensures that agencies are offered the best government pricing through U.S. Communities. Contracts are non-exclusive and discretionary, so an agency can choose to use any contract that, in their sole discretion, is in their best interest.
Are you registered with U.S. Communities, but need more information on the next steps to start saving with suppliers? View this detailed guide to learn more.