Vendors sometimes market their businesses by claiming that local units of government can purchase from them without bidding. Vendors may emphasize that they are part of the “state contract” or that they will sell at the “state contract price.” Public entities should be cautious before proceeding with these purchases. Public entities cannot avoid the normal bidding requirements simply by purchasing from these vendors.
The Cooperative Purchasing Venture (CPV) is a members-only joint powers program operated by the Minnesota Department of Administration. The CPV allows members to purchase goods and services under contract terms established by the State of Minnesota. It is available only to governmental units that have joined the CPV, but there is currently no fee. More information on the CPV, and how to become a member, can be found at:
Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 8/21/2015