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.
- Each lead public agency awards its contract to a supplier after a competitive solicitation process designed to ensure that Participating Public Agencies receive the highest quality products and services at the lowest possible prices.
- Once the lead public agency has awarded a contract with the supplier, the lead public agency allows other Participating Public Agencies in need of similar products and services to make purchases through the existing contract through U.S. Communities. This ensures that all Participating Public Agencies have access to the same terms and conditions of the existing competitively solicited contract.
- U.S. Communities does not issue the solicitation for the contracts or participate in the bid selection process with suppliers. However, once the contract is in place it works with both the lead public agency and the supplier to ensure that the contract is administered properly through routine audits as well as additional oversight measures to ensure Participating Public Agencies are receiving the quality products and services of the highest quality and at the lowest prices.
- Through U.S. Communities, all contracts are available to state and local government agencies, public and private K-12 school districts and higher education organizations, and nonprofit businesses.
Authority to Use
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).
No Cost to Use
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.
Best Government Pricing
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.
U.S. Communities – OMNIA Partnership Overview
U.S. Communities is the leading national cooperative purchasing program, providing world-class government procurement resources and solutions to local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education institutions, and nonprofits looking for the best overall supplier government pricing.
- No User Fees – no costs or fees to participate.
- Best Overall Supplier Government Pricing – by combining the potential cooperative purchasing power of up to 90,000 public agencies, you are able to access the best overall supplier government pricing.
- Quality Brands – thousands of the best brands in a wide variety of categories, services and solutions.
- Integrity and Experience – unlike other government cooperative purchasing organizations, U.S. Communities national government purchasing cooperative is co-sponsored by over 90 state, city and regional organizations.
- Oversight by Public Purchasing Professionals – Advisory Board of well-respected public procurement professionals provides leadership, direction, and ensures adherence to our high standards.
U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance is a government purchasing cooperative that reduces the cost of goods and services by aggregating the purchasing power of public agencies nationwide. U.S. Communities provides world class procurement resources and solutions to local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education, and nonprofits. Our participants have access to a broad line of competitively solicited contracts with best in class national suppliers.
U.S. Communities’ rigorous supplier commitments ensure our supplier partners offer their best supplier government pricing. Third party audits are performed on all contracts and benchmarking analyses ensure ongoing value. Most importantly, U.S. Communities adheres to a stringent competitive selection process for all contracts offered through the program.