Cooperative purchasing is one of the easiest ways that cities can do more with less. By pooling the collective purchasing power of local governments throughout the United States, U.S. Communities can help these jurisdictions procure the goods and services they commonly use at tremendously discounted prices. This frees up purchasing staff to focus on larger, unique, and more complicated bids.
In 1999 several organizations representing local government entities established the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance to serve state and local governments as well as nonprofit organizations. It was designed to be completely free and voluntary with no minimum purchase requirements. Each contract has been competitively bid by a local government entity, and each supplier has committed to offer its most competitive pricing to all participating agencies.
Currently over 36,000 state and local governmental agencies as well as nonprofit entities use the U.S. Communities program to purchase items such as technology products, auto supplies, office furniture, office supplies, and facility maintenance and repair supplies. With 19 contracts available there is something of value to virtually every agency in the country.
Ensuring that the program meets the highest procurement standards, the U.S. Communities program is monitored by an advisory board of purchasing professionals representing local, state, school, and university organizations across the country.