As used in this part, unless the context requires otherwise:
"Cooperative purchasing" means procurement conducted by a public or external procurement unit with one or more public procurement units, external procurement units, or nonprofit private procurement units, pursuant to this chapter.
"External procurement unit" means any buying organization not located in this State which, if located in this State, would qualify as a public procurement unit. An agency of the United States is an external procurement unit.
"Local public procurement unit" means any county of the State or public agency of any county, public authority, educational, health, or other institution, and to the extent provided by law, any other entity which expends public funds for the procurement of goods, services, and construction.
"Nonprofit private procurement unit" means a nonprofit health or human services organization that receives public funds to provide services to the public.
"Public procurement unit" means either a local public procurement unit or a state public procurement unit.
"State public procurement unit" means the office of the chief procurement officer and any other purchasing agency of this State.
A public procurement unit may either participate in, sponsor, conduct, or administer a cooperative purchasing agreement for the procurement of goods, services, or construction with one or more public procurement units, external procurement units, or nonprofit private procurement units pursuant to rules adopted by the policy board and an agreement entered into between the participants. The cooperative purchasing may include, but shall not be limited to, joint or multi-party contracts between public procurement units, and state public procurement unit requirements contracts which are made available to local public procurement units. Cooperative purchasing agreements may be exempt from preferences pursuant to part X.