Position Paper: Cooperative Procurement: Great Value, Great Confusion

Cooperative procurement solutions offer resource challenged agencies the opportunity to improve the efficiency of their operations while saving money. This paper demonstrates how cooperative procurement is effective in saving taxpayer dollars, and what makes it a viable alternative to conventional, independent procurement processes. Cooperative solutions are appropriate for many circumstances, but they are not a solo solution for all purchases at all times. Cooperative procurement was developed to meet specific needs to realize their full value when applied with an understanding of their appropriate use and limitations. This position paper describes NIGP’s view of cooperative practices and programs while also examining the nature of, and changes in, the cooperative procurement landscape. It recommends best practices in the evaluation and use of cooperative solutions and emphasizes the responsibility of procurement professionals to ensure that cooperative solutions are implemented in a manner consistent with local legislation and with due regard for preference groups.