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What is cooperative procurement?

Cooperative procurement is when two or more entities utilize the same contract to make a purchase. A public entity is able to use the contract that another entity has already established, through a formal solicitation process of their own, to purchase from the same supplier on the same or similar terms.

Cooperative procurement:

  • Satisfies the formal solicitation requirement: The awarded supplier on a cooperative contract has already gone through a formal solicitation process for the particular goods/services provided under that contract. This means the supplier can sell to other public entities under the same terms of the contract without responding to another formal solicitation process.
  • Is a legal, well-established best practice: Cooperative procurement is not a workaround; it is a legal best practice. Local governments are able to use cooperative contracts based on joint powers, intergovernmental cooperation, or cooperative procurement laws in their respective jurisdictions.
  • Is a huge and growing sales tactic: Already, 20% of local government purchasing spend flows through cooperative contracts. Suppliers are increasingly becoming aware of the benefits of cooperative procurement, including faster sales cycles and broader distribution.


Edited and reviewed by procurement professionals Kelly Mickelson, Karri Burgess, and Rita Parker

What is a cooperative contract?