NJPA is a public corporation or agency serving as a municipal contracting agency, operating under the legislative authority of Minnesota Statute 123A.21 (see specific statutory references on pages 4-5). All NJPA employees are public employees whom are required to pay into Public Employment Retirement Association (PERA) through payroll deduction. One level of comfort for members is that NJPA employees have the same employment status as NJPA municipal members.
Among other things, NJPA creates national cooperative contract purchasing opportunities and solutions on behalf of its members which include all government, education and non-profit agencies nationwide. These cooperative contract purchasing opportunities present both time and money savings for their users by consolidating numerous individually prepared solicitations to one cooperatively shared process and by the aggregation of demand from members nationwide.
Eligible members include any unit of government, education (private or public) or non-profit agencies nationwide.
NJPA is governed by the NJPA Board of Directors. The eight-member board is comprised of publicly elected governing officials; including school board, city council members and county commissioners from Region Five in Minnesota.
There is no-cost, no-obligation or liability to join or participate in the NJPA contract purchasing program. There are no minimum contract purchasing requirements or commitments for members use of NJPA contracts.
Vendors realize substantial efficiencies through their ability to respond to one NJPA solicitation and Request for Proposal (RFP) that will potentially earn thousands of sales opportunities. From these efficiencies, vendors pay an administrative fee to NJPA calculated as a percentage of sales processed through the competitively bid procurement contracts awarded and held by the vendor. This administrative fee is not an added cost to the member. This administrative fee covers the costs of contract marketing and facilitation and it offsets operating expenses incurred by NJPA. This fee may also be used for other purposes as allowed by Minnesota statute. NJPA does not receive state or federal aid or membership fees. With respect to cooperative contract purchasing, NJPA is a self-funded governmental unit. NJPA also shares these fees with certain other NJPA members, partner cooperatives or associations as they demonstrate the desire and ability to help facilitate and market available NJPA contracts. Administrative fees paid to NJPA are not an additional cost to NJPA members.
A membership can be initiated by:
- Online Membership application: www.njpacoop.org/join/application
- Paper-based Membership application: www.njpacoop.org/membershipagreement
- “Joint Exercise of Powers” or “Interlocal” agreement, see example at: www.njpacoop.org/jointexerciseofpowers
Participating Members are non-voting members of NJPA that are able to enter into Joint Powers Agreements. Nonprofit organizations, nonpublic schools and other similar entities may join NJPA through an Associate Membership. Full voting memberships are limited to units of government or education located within the five county region of Minnesota which NJPA was originally created to serve.
Yes. At this point, all current Members are a part of our Board of Advisors. NJPA also has multiple Member Advisory Committees that specialize in various membership verticals. These verticals include our general membership represented by procurement professionals from our government and education agencies and others, such as fleet departments, food service departments, park and recreation departments and public utility departments.
Yes, under M.S. 123A.21, all non-profit agencies may also participate.
Generally, joint powers and/or cooperative purchasing laws create the authority for members to work together with NJPA and accept NJPA procurement laws. These laws are a part of state law in every state, however, they are written slightly differently. Essentially, what these laws state is “What two units of government can individually do for themselves, one can do for the other.” NJPA membership forms are designed to help establish an appropriate agreement to comply with the Joint Powers Laws of our qualifying agencies.
- The competitive bidding and contract process is completed and satisfied on behalf of your agency.
- National aggregation of product and equipment demand and volume resulting in aggressive and competitive pricing.
- Choice of equipment, products and services is offered under awarded contracts featuring the highest quality solutions from industry-leading and nationally acclaimed vendors; a broad range of exceptional selections; substantial time savings and multiple other related benefits for participating agencies.
- Members enjoy a broad range of exceptional product and equipment selections complimented by substantial time savings and multiple other related benefits for participating agencies.
- NJPA contract solutions offer choice with the ability to continue to perform your own competitive bidding process if you choose to do so.
NJPA strives to exceed our members’ needs and expectations. Our contracting process mirrors our process in creating a pathway to a unified process that is, and can be, accepted by agencies across the country. NJPA increases our members’ comfort by conducting complete financial audits annually by an independent auditor with the results submitted to the State of Minnesota as required by state law.
Yes, in most states and local jurisdictions. All NJPA contracts have been competitively solicited nationally, reviewed, evaluated by committee and recommended to the NJPA Board of Directors for award in accordance with Minnesota public purchasing rules and regulations applicable to NJPA. Each solicitation is issued on behalf of NJPA and current and potential NJPA members nationwide. Each RFP advises all responders that NJPA most desires a vendor whom can sell and service participating members in all fifty states and, optionally, provinces and territories of Canada. All RFP respondents understand that these contracts will be under consideration for use by government, education and non-profit member agencies throughout the United States.
Most of our documentation is available on our website at www.njpacoop.org/solutions. By selecting a vendor from the list and scrolling to the bottom of the page you will see: 1) Contract Award Documentation, 2) Documentation of the Competitive Bidding Process, 3) Documentation of the RFP, and 4) Documentation of the Contract Maintenance. Please follow the instructions in each vendor file to access pricing for specific contracts. Procurement files are also available in hard copy at our office during normal NJPA business hours.
NJPA conducts a comprehensive 12-step process (described in full here) that includes: 1) Identifying member needs, 2) Research solutions available in the marketplace, 3) Request permission from the NJPA Board of Directors, 4) Draft a solicitation, public advertisement and notice, 5) Conduct a pre-proposal conference followed by receipt of responses, 6) Evaluating proposers’ responses, 7) Review evaluation results, 8) Provide recommendations to the NJPA Board, 9) Awarding vendor(s), 10) Posting approved contract documents, 11) Develop and implement a joint marketing plan with awarded vendor(s), and 12) Review and maintain our contract throughout its term.
NJPA contracts establish a business to government style transaction flow. Members are encouraged to begin with their local dealer/representative of our contract holder as they are the experts in helping members determine their specific needs and thereby defining the products and services needed. Members communicate with the vendors through contract proposals that include pricing. Members may contact NJPA to verify the awarded contract pricing and confirm contract terms and conditions.
To execute a purchase, a member should issue a purchase order according to their normal organizational parameters. In addition, the member should identify on the face of that purchase order “This purchase order is issued pursuant to NJPA Contract #XXXXXX-AAA” which will notify the local dealer/representative of your desire to use the NJPA contract that includes its terms and conditions and pricing.
Members have the ability to propose new or additional terms and conditions during the customer purchase order phase. By reviewing your procurement documentation and local requirements you may find that there are specific requirements by your agency that are not included in the NJPA terms and conditions. The terms and conditions of the NJPA contract cannot be changed, but custom or additional terms and conditions are acceptable between the customer and vendor at the purchase order level.
NJPA cooperative procurement contracts do not guarantee sales. Each vendor must earn each individual sale they propose. Excellent products/equipment and customer service yields excellent customer satisfaction and assurance. As a result, NJPA cooperative procurement contracts are based on the quality and performance of the equipment/products and support of the on-going customer services. Our members issue their most important and final vote with their purchase orders.
NJPA prefers to award contracts at the manufacturer level when possible. Contract awards to manufacturers are made on behalf of that manufacturer’s dealer group through the established relationship between manufacturer and dealer group. Likewise, contract awards made to a re-seller are made on behalf of the re-seller’s manufacturers, again through the established relationship between the re-seller and their manufacturers. In many cases, some products or equipment are only available through re-sellers. Whichever is the case, NJPA members have a single source of responsibility in the awarded contractor and that awarded contractor takes responsibility for all third party sub-contractors used in the acquiring and delivering of products and services to be delivered. As a result of the reputation NJPA has earned, NJPA is able to award contracts to quality vendors that members can trust.
Ask the supplier to watch for bids being posted. NJPA bids are posted in the Star Tribune (www.startribune.com); in the Daily Journal of Commerce within the State of Oregon (www.djcoregon.com); on the NJPA website (www.njpacoop.org); the NoticeToBidders.com website (www.noticetobidders.com); distributed to other third party procurement websites such as BidSync (www.bidsync.com), Onvia (www.onvia.com), and The Public Group (www.publicpurchase.com); and distributed to the procurement offices at the state level in each state for re-publication in their jurisdictions at their option. Suppliers respond to NJPA RFPs in a sufficient manner to be awarded a contract according to the terms and conditions contained therein.
Contact any of our vendors listed in our Contract Directory.
You may also contact us directly at 888-894-1930.
All current NJPA vendors became awarded vendors by responding to a NJPA nationally advertised solicitation in their respective categories. To learn more visit our website at www.njpacoop.org/njpavendor.