Cooperative Purchasing FAQs

What is Cooperative Purchasing?

Cooperative Purchasing allows state and local governments to purchase from Schedule 70 for information technology and Schedule 84 for law enforcement and security products and services, at any time, for any reason, using any funds available.

What statute authorized the Cooperative Purchasing program?

Section 211 of the E-Government Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-347) authorized state and local governments access to Federal Supply Schedule 70, Information Technology (IT), and Consolidated (formerly Corporate Contracts) Schedule contracts, containing IT Special Item Numbers (SINs).

What Schedules are available under the program?

The Local Preparedness Acquisition Act (Public Law 110-248) , authorized state and local governments access to Federal Supply Schedule 84, Total Solutions for Law Enforcement, Security, Facility Management Systems, Fire, Rescue, Special Purpose Clothing, Marine Craft, Emergency/Disaster Response, and Schedule 70 for information technology products and services.

What’s the legal definition of state and local government? What if there is a question as to whether or not an entity falls under this definition?

40 U.S.C § 502 (c) offers the following definition of state or local government: “The term, “State or local government” includes any State, local, regional, or tribal government, or any instrumentality thereof (including any local educational agency or institution of higher education).”

The term does not include contractors or grantees of state or local governments. If there is a question on whether or not an entity falls under this definition, the entity may submit an eligibility request to GSA. Instructions for eligibility requests can be found at our eligibility determination process page. GSA will issue a formal determination on behalf of the requesting entity that clearly outlines the entity’s access to GSA sources of supply. Entities that clearly fall under the definition of state and local government do NOT need to request an eligibility determination.

Are state and local government entities required to show proof of eligibility, from GSA, when purchasing through approved GSA state and local programs (Cooperative Purchasing and Disaster Purchasing)?

GSA does not issue eligibility letters to entities that clearly fall under the legal definition of state or local government. If the entity clearly falls under the legal definition of state or local government, then they are automatically authorized to place orders under these programs.

If there is a question about eligibility, either from the purchasing entity or the GSA vendor, the purchasing entity may submit an eligibility request to GSA, as directed above.

What types of products and services are available under Cooperative Purchasing?

Schedule 70 includes automated data processing equipment (including firmware), software, supplies, support equipment, and services.

Schedule 84 includes alarm and signal systems, facility management systems, firefighting and rescue equipment, law enforcement and security equipment, marine craft and related equipment, special purpose clothing, and related services.

How can state and local governments purchase wireless plans and/or devices and also mobile device and mobile application management (MDM/MAM) tools?

In May 2013, GSA launched the FSSI Wireless BPA program so state and local entities can order wireless plans to include choices of no-cost devices. Wireless is the single biggest technology item state and local entities purchase from GSA schedules. The BPAs deliver further cost savings, simplify wireless buying, and have wide geographic coverage. MDM/MAM and Mobility Life-Cycle tools are available to state and local entities through GSA’s Managed Mobility program’s IT Schedule 70 sources of supply.

Can state and local governments purchase from all GSA Schedules?

No. The Cooperative Purchasing program allows state and local governments access to GSA Schedule 70 contracts containing IT SINs awarded under the Consolidated (formerly Corporate Contracts) Schedule, and GSA Schedule 84 only.

Can state and local government entities use GSA Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) to purchase information technology under the Cooperative Purchasing program?

No. State and local government entities are not authorized to use GSA GWACs under this program.

Can state and local government entities use GSA Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) to purchase information technology under the Cooperative Purchasing program?

Yes. Some of GSA’s BPAs based on GSA Schedule contracts 70 and 84 are open for use by state and local government entities. For example, state and local entities can acquire wireless services and devices from GSA’s FSSI Wireless BPAs or software from GSA’s SmartBUY BPAs.

What is the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)?

Each Schedule contract price includes an industrial funding fee (IFF) (.75 percent), which reimburses GSA for the procurement and administrative costs incurred to operate the GSA Schedules program.

It’s represented in the prices paid by ordering activities and passed on to GSA by Schedule contractors. Schedule vendors send the IFF to GSA every quarter.

Are Cooperative Purchasing orders subject to the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF)?

Yes. Vendors must report Cooperative Purchasing sales under the STLOC Special Item Numbers (SINs) on their 72a reporting form.

Will GSA waive, or give a portion of, the IFF to state and local government entities?


No. Cooperative Purchasing is voluntary for both state and local government entities and for Schedule contractors. State and local entities can decide if they wish to make a GSA Schedule purchase, subject to any limitations that may be established under state and local laws and procedures.

No. Schedule contractors have the option of accepting orders placed by state and local government buyers. Schedule contractors decide their level of participation at two levels;

First, at the Schedule contract level, contractors decide whether or not to participate in the program. Schedule contractors will then either enter into a mutual agreement with GSA to modify the existing Schedule contract, or indicate, before contract award, their intent to offer their Schedule products and services under Cooperative Purchasing.

Second, even after an existing contract is modified or a new contract awarded, a Schedule contractor will retain the right to decline orders received from state and local government entities on a case-by-case basis. Schedule contractors may decline an order, for any reason, within a five-day period after receipt of the order. However, credit card orders must be declined within 24 hours (GSAM 552.232-79).

State and local governments must follow their own state and local acquisition regulations to meet competition thresholds and requirements when buying through Schedule. To incorporate GSA terms and conditions, list the GSA Schedule contract number on the order.

Entities are encouraged, but not required, to use GSA’s Schedule Ordering Procedures to ensure competition and to receive the best value from GSA Schedule contractors.

Ordering Procedures for Supplies, and Services Not Requiring a Statement of Work (Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR 8.405-1)), or the Ordering Procedures for Services Requiring a Statement of Work (FAR 8.405-2) is a best practices.

Contractor acceptance of an order under Cooperative Purchasing means forming a new contract between the non-federal ordering activity and the Schedule contractor. The ordering activity’s contracting officer is responsible for all contract administration under the new contract.

While most of the terms and conditions of the Schedule contract are incorporated by reference into the Cooperative Purchasing order (see question 16 and 17, for exceptions), the federal government is not liable for the contractor’s performance or non-performance.

Disputes that cannot be resolved by the parties may be litigated in any state or federal court with jurisdiction, using the principles of federal procurement law and the uniform commercial code, as applicable and appropriate.

State and local government entities may submit information concerning a contractor’s performance to the GSA contracting officer for consideration when evaluating the contractor’s overall performance under the GSA Schedule contract.

Yes. However, the additional terms and conditions must be included as a part of the Statement of Work (SOW) or the Statement of Objectives (SOO) and must not conflict with the terms and conditions of the GSA Schedule contract.

Yes. The following contract terms and conditions are not incorporated by reference into Cooperative Purchasing orders:

  • Disputes Clause;
  • Patent Indemnity Clause; and
  • Certain Commercial Item Contract Terms and Conditions. Portions of the commercial item contract terms and conditions that specify compliance with laws unique to federal government contracts are not applicable to Cooperative Purchasing orders.

Yes. GSAM 552.232-81, Payments by Non-Federal Ordering Activities, allows for the terms and conditions of a state’s prompt payment law to apply to orders placed by eligible non-federal ordering activities.

However, if the ordering activity is not otherwise subject to a state prompt payment law, the activity is covered by the federal prompt payment act in the same manner as federal ordering activities.

No. Cooperative Purchasing does not affect state and local government preference programs.

Yes. Schedule contractors may accept any state and local government-issued credit cards for orders placed under Cooperative Purchasing.

Contractors are required to accept credit cards for orders up to the micro-purchase threshold. Contractors may voluntarily accept credit cards for orders exceeding the micro-purchase threshold.

Yes. State and local government entities may issue BPAs under the Schedule contracts.
Yes. Schedule prices are ceiling prices, and price reductions may be granted at the order level.
No. Granting state and local government entities additional price discounts under GSA Schedule purchases will not trigger the Price Reductions clause.
Yes. All Schedule contract terms and conditions, except those stated above as exceptions, apply to contracts between the GSA Schedule contractor and state and local government entities.

Under the Cooperative Purchasing program, state and local government entities, as defined in GSA Acquisition Manual (GSAM) 538.7001, receiving federal grant dollars, are eligible to purchase products and services from approved GSA Schedules.

Federal grantees that fall outside the definition of state and local government, are not authorized to buy under the Cooperative Purchasing program.

Yes. Government entities may use the GSA Advantage!® online shopping and ordering system to purchase products and services from Schedule contractors that have agreed to offer Cooperative Purchasing. Products and services available for Cooperative Purchasing are identified on GSA Advantage!® with the Cooperative Purchasing icon.

Orders placed through GSA Advantage!® will be transmitted directly to GSA Schedule contractors. Schedule contractors will, in turn, ship the products and/or perform the services before billing the customer’s credit card. GSA does not ship merchandise or bill the customer’s credit card. All order/billing problems and/or discrepancies must be addressed directly with Schedule contractors.

Payments for state and local government purchases on GSA Advantage!® are limited to credit card payments using a state or local government-issued credit card. No other form of payment will be accepted at this time.

State and local government customers must register and obtain the necessary approvals from a supervisor or approving official as part of the registration process.

State and local government ordering activities are responsible for ensuring that only authorized representatives of their governments place orders, and that the products and services purchased will only be used for governmental purposes.

Yes. State and local government entities can use the eBuy online Request for Quotation (RFQ) tool to request information, find sources to fulfill their requirements, and request quotations under Cooperative Purchasing. By using eBuy, state and local government entities can now leverage the Internet’s power to increase contractor participation, and obtain quotations that result in best value purchase decisions.
The GSA Schedule contracts can list participating dealers as part of their contract. However, if a local dealer does not appear listed on a Schedule contract the purchaser is encouraged to check with the contractor to confirm that the dealer is an authorized/participating dealer.