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Texas Cooperative FAQ

The Local Government Purchasing Cooperative is an administrative agency created in accordance with Section 791.001 of the Texas Government Code. Its purpose is to obtain the benefits and efficiencies that can accrue to members of a cooperative, to comply with state bidding requirements, and to identify qualified vendors of commodities, goods, and services. The Cooperative also relieves the burdens of governmental purchasing by effectively using current technology and realizing economies of scale.
The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) administers and handles the day-to-day activities of the Cooperative. The Cooperative is endorsed by the Texas Municipal League (TML), the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), and the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), and is a Strategic Partner of the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO).

The Cooperative is governed by an eleven-member board of trustees. Four trustees are elected officials or employees of school districts, two are elected officials or employees of municipalities, one is an elected official or employee of a county, and four are at-large positions from any type of participating governmental entity.
  • Advertisements are placed in 11 newspapers across Texas for once a week for two weeks.
  • The proposal invitation and specification document are posted to the website at www.vendor.buyboard.com.
  • Registered vendors with BuyBoard are notified via e-mail regarding the proposal opportunity.
  • Electronic vendor proposal responses are received. Vendor responses received after the due date and time are not opened and reviewed.
  • Proposals are reviewed, tabulated, and analyzed based on the criteria outlined in the proposal terms and conditions, and a scoring matrix is used to rank the criteria.
  • Recommendations are prepared and presented to the Cooperative Board for consideration of award.

The Cooperative places strong emphasis on using an open, competitive process for the award of vendor goods and services. BuyBoard uses a proposal invitation process to award contracts to vendors for goods and services that Cooperative determines, based on a review of all vendor-submitted proposals and an evaluation of multiple published criteria, represent the best value. The Cooperative gives broad notice of opportunity to vendors to encourage vendor participation and increase competition. Proposal invitations are publicly advertised in multiple newspapers and on the Cooperative’s BuyBoard vendor website.

The Cooperative’s proposal invitations incorporate full, detailed descriptions of the contract requirements for vendors, including specifications for product and service categories, requirements vendors must fulfill, and all other factors to be used in evaluating proposals.

Proposals are then reviewed, analyzed, and scored based on the criteria outlined in the proposal terms and conditions by a procurement committee. Criteria generally includes factors such as:

  • Price Competitiveness
  • Vendor Past Performance
  • Vendor Reputation for Goods and Services
  • Financial and Technical resources
  • Capability of servicing Cooperative members
  • Any other factor or requirement listed in the proposal invitation

Recommendations are prepared and presented to the Cooperative Board for consideration of award. The Cooperative’s Board awards contracts on the basis of best value based of the criteria outlined in the proposal invitation.

We are aware that there are websites purporting to provide or help you find information on BuyBoard-awarded contracts. Please know that buyboard.com is the only official site for BuyBoard and BuyBoard contracts. This information is always available to BuyBoard members.

The Cooperative evaluates vendor proposals on the basis of best value to the Cooperative members. As a general matter, the Cooperative makes competitive and indefinite quantity awards to vendors that give the same or better discounts/pricing than they give their best governmental clients.

Each vendor proposal is evaluated on its own merit and is determined to be fair and reasonable. Discount practices may be examined and evaluated based on historical data, sales information, discounts granted to other governmental clients, and other market research techniques.

The Cooperative may award to multiple vendors supplying comparable products or services, known as a multiple award schedule, or award to a single vendor. The Cooperative’s decision to make multiple or single awards is based on the type of award that provides the best value to all Cooperative members.
Yes, the final decision as to the best overall offer, both in terms of price and suitability of the proposed products or services to meet the needs of and provide the best value to Cooperative members, rests solely with the Cooperative’s Board of Trustees. The Cooperative Board does not delegate authority to award contracts.

BuyBoard membership is free and open to all local governments, nonprofits, and other political subdivisions of the state of Texas. The following entities must be active, associate, or affiliate members of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) in order to participate in the BuyBoard:

  • Texas school districts including open enrollment and college/university charter schools
  • Educational cooperatives
  • Community colleges
  • Central appraisal districts

While not eligible for cooperative membership, TASB offers nonprofit, tax exempt entities use of the BuyBoard through a nonprofit subscriber agreement.

Revenue to operate the system and the Cooperative comes primarily from a service fee payable by participating vendors.

The only exceptions to this are for vehicles. The Cooperative charges a flat amount per purchase order, regardless of the number of vehicles on the purchase order, as a service fee for the purchase of vehicles. This service fee is payable by the member entity but is collected by the vehicle dealer as part of the overall vehicle price. The flat amount per purchase order is as follows: vehicles and trucks - $400; ambulances and school buses - $800; fire apparatus - $1,500.

Some of the revenue paid by vendors is shared with the Cooperative's marketing partners and co-sponsors. Excess revenue over and above expenses may be rebated back to the governmental membership only at the discretion of the Cooperative's Board of Trustees.

The Cooperative analyzes and makes award recommendations for products and services that have been submitted through a competitive proposal invitation process.

All awarded items or catalogs will be posted on a secure website, called the BuyBoard, so that Cooperative members can search for and select items. The BuyBoard is only available to members.

Each user has a security role, defined by the entity, that allows them to shop and/or transmit a purchase order to the vendor. Individuals can be assigned multiple roles or a single role, such as a shopper only. Only those individuals with the authority to release a purchase order to a vendor will have the ability to do so.

The other option is to simply e-mail your purchase order to the BuyBoard for input. Purchase orders are electronically transmitted to the vendor based on the profile selected by the vendor. All purchase order history is tracked by the BuyBoard and is accessible at any time.

An automated request for quote (RFQ) function allows members who buy in volume to create a request for a selected item and select the vendors from whom they want to solicit a price quote. When the RFQ closes and vendors have responded, the system automatically tabulates the results. For any large-volume purchases, the RFQ process allows for additional price concessions from awarded Cooperative vendors without members going through the formal competitive procurement process themselves.

For governmental entities, membership is as easy as completing and returning the interlocal agreement and having your governing board adopt the board resolution included with the interlocal. Nonprofit entities are not eligible for Cooperative membership but may use the BuyBoard by completing the Nonprofit Subscriber Agreement. Your entity can join the Cooperative at any time.

As many as you choose to authorize. There is no limit to the number each entity can authorize. Remember, most employees are considered shoppers, only allowing them to fill their shopping baskets. All employees can be issued passwords to search and shop for products without any compromise to the purchasing process.
A toll-free customer support number is available from TASB. Technical support representatives can answer questions regarding the operation of the system.
A variety of products is available at discounts from manufacturers' prices. Members can elect to do all their purchasing from these discounted catalogs or only purchase selected items. After becoming a member, you choose how to participate, product category by product category, item by item.
If the Cooperative member cannot resolve the problem directly with the vendor, members are encouraged to let Cooperative staff know.
We encourage their participation. In fact, by participating, your vendors may have greater business opportunities with a wider variety of local governments. We encourage all vendors to register with the Cooperative to receive notice of proposal invitation opportunities.
The overall objective of the Cooperative is to provide a mechanism for all local governments in Texas to pool their collective purchasing power. Cooperatives save money in two primary fashions: the price of the product purchased and/or in the administrative cost savings from eliminating a formal bid/proposal process. Of course, there are no guaranteed savings, but cooperative buying power is a time-tested method of savings.