The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Cooperative purchasing." Procurement conducted by or on behalf of more than one public procurement unit or by a public procurement unit with an external procurement activity.
"External procurement activity." A buying organization not located in this Commonwealth which if located in this Commonwealth would qualify as a public procurement unit. An agency of the United States is an external procurement
"Local public procurement unit." A political subdivision, public authority, educational, health or other institution and, to the extent provided by law, any other entity, including a council of governments or an area government, which expends public funds for the procurement of supplies, services and construction, any nonprofit corporation operating a charitable hospital and any nonprofit fire company, nonprofit rescue company and nonprofit ambulance company.
"Public procurement unit." A local public procurement unit or a purchasing agency.
A public procurement unit may either participate in, sponsor, conduct or administer a cooperative purchasing agreement for the procurement of any supplies, services or construction with one or more public procurement units or external procurement activities in accordance with an agreement entered into between the participants. The Department of General Services is authorized to enter into cooperative purchasing contracts solely for the use of local public procurement units or state affiliated entities. The department shall enter into cooperative purchasing contracts for the use of local public procurement units or state-affiliated entities if the number of contractors under a previously existing contract for the same supply or service is reduced to a single contractor or reduced by more than 50% of the number existing on September 30, 2003, and shall award such contracts pursuant to section 517 (relating to multiple awards) using an invitation for bids. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a local public procurement unit or state — affiliated entity from participating in or procuring from other cooperative purchasing agreements awarded by the department. Cooperative purchasing may include, but is not limited to, joint or multiparty contracts between public procurement units and open-ended purchasing agency contracts which are made available to local public procurement units.
(a) All contracts for services and personal property where the amount thereof exceeds the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), shall be written and shall, except as otherwise hereinafter specified, be made by advertising for bids.
(h) The contracts or purchases made by the commissioners which shall not require advertising, bidding or price quotations, as hereinbefore provided, are as follows:
(7) Those made with any public body, including, but not limited to, the sale, lease or loan of any supplies or materials to the county by a public body, provided that the price thereof shall not be in excess of that fixed by the public body. The requirements of 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation) shall not apply when a county purchases cooperatively with another public body which has entered into a contract for supplies or materials. As used in thisparagraph, "public body" shall mean any of the following:
(i) the Federal Government;
(ii) the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
(iii) any other state;
(iv) a political subdivision, local or municipal authority or other similar local entity of the Commonwealth or any other state; or
(v) an agency of the Federal Government, the Commonwealth or any other state.