New York law opens door to cooperative purchasing through KPN and PEPPM

New York’s city and county governments, municipalities, school districts, libraries and nonprofits now have immediate access to purchasing contracts awarded by the Keystone Purchasing Network in neighboring Pennsylvania, thanks to recent legislation.

The law (S.5525c, Chapter 308) allows public agencies to secure lower costs for products and services by piggybacking on bids that have been conducted by other governmental entities, even those in other states.

So public agencies in New York can now save time and money in procurement by piggybacking on bids that already have been solicited, advertised, evaluated, and awarded by two cooperative purchasing programs operated by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) , a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The cooperative procurement programs operated by the CSIU are the Keystone Purchasing Network (KPN) and the PEPPM Technology Bidding and Purchasing Program headquartered in Milton, Pennsylvania.

KPN offers more than 50 contracts now being used by agencies in 43 states, including the District of Columbia.

The PEPPM program specializes in technology products and offers more than 280 contracts, currently used by public agencies in 45 states.

Once denied access to out-of-state contracts, New York agencies can now take advantage of the CSIU’s cooperative procurement programs that are already benefiting public sector entities on a regular basis with competitive pricing and the strong protection of contract terms and conditions.

Both the PEPPM and KPN programs have a long history of success in cooperative purchasing. They have partnerships with forward-looking public agency participants from Maine to Florida, and from Connecticut to California.

Cooperative programs have become more popular with public agencies over the past decade, but PEPPM is the senior leader in the United States with a 30-year history, and KPN is also a veteran with nearly 40 years’ experience serving school and government agencies.

Competing newcomers to cooperative purchasing approach contract development in diverse ways, depending on the state of origin and legal procedures required of the originating agency.

Unique New York Requirement

However, the new law in the State of New York requires that any piggybackable contracts used satisfy the same type of bidding requirements that are currently required under New York law, namely advertising, sealed competitive bidding, impartial evaluation and awards to the lowest-priced responsive and responsible bidders.

The more than 300 contracts awarded by KPN and PEPPM meet those requirements, using proven and tested bid procedures that ensure a fair process for all participants and a low-price result.

During deliberations on the Assembly Bill 8034, proponents cited potential cost savings to New York agencies as the urgent impetus for changing the law and eliminating labor costs.

See a list of KPN contracts that run the gamut from consumable commodities to public works contracts for flooring and roofing.

Jeff Kimball has been the leader and innovator of KPN since 1987. As director of cooperative purchasing for the CSIU, Jeff has overseen the growth of KPN from a regional cooperative to a national cooperative. He is active in the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and has been a thought leader in procurement with the Association of School Business Officials International. In addition, he was a founding member of the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies, which has now grown to include 26 state cooperative agencies. He serves on the board of directors of AEPA and also heads the association’s nationwide bidding initiatives. Closer to home, Jeff is also active in his community, serving with volunteer stints for local events and the Kiwanis Club.

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