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Chapter 20 - Joint and Cooperative and GSA Contracts

20.1 Purchases from joint and/or cooperative procurements (non-GSA Schedule 70)

20.1.5 Types of joint and/or cooperative procurements

Joint and/or cooperative IT procurements are formed when multiple parties identify a common technology requirement suitable for a joint and/or cooperative procurement arrangement and sign a written agreement to jointly and cooperatively procure. The lead agency or government solicits proposals and awards the joint and/or cooperative IT contract. The contract is then available for use by all signature parties and other public bodies if the solicitation provided for use by other public bodies. The participating entities may sign an agreement or a "participating addendum" in the specific contract. The participating addendum may be necessary to include the user's statutory requirements in its agreement with the supplier and for the lead entity to administer effectively.

There are three types of joint and/or cooperative procurement arrangements that can be used for IT:




True (or "pure")

Where two or more organizations combine their requirements and solicit bids or offers. This type of joint and/or cooperative is based on statutory or regulatory authority. The relationship between the issuing agency and the contract users is based on this legal agreement or authority. Contract users are bound by the issuing agency's terms and conditions, unless they take exception in a separate document.


Where statutory authority permits a governmental entity to use "any contract issued by any other governmental entity." The key to a piggyback joint and/or cooperative is that the contract is issued by a single entity (usually without any other participation). There is relationship between the contract users and the supplier or the entity that established the contract. The contract will include an option for other organizations to "ride," "bridge" or "piggyback" the contract as awarded, even if they did not participate in the original solicitation. It is important to remember in a piggyback situation, that any relationship between the supplier and a user should be based on a separate contract, not the piggyback contract, since there is no other legal relationship involved. The federal government uses this structure through its GSA contracts.

Third-party aggregator

When one organization brings together multiple organizations to represent their requirements and manage the resulting contract. Contract users will not realize the benefit and leverage of the full volume use of the contract. The supplier may only offer a minimal discount when participation and usage exceed original contract estimates. An example of a third-party aggregator situation is where a joint and/or cooperative procurement is spearheaded by a group (i.e., U.S. Communities, etc.) that is not a governmental entity but it gathers interest and commitments from others and then turns around and buys for the whole group. Some "third party aggregators" may not be non-profit entities and their fee structure may be for profit.