History & Authority

Minnesota Statute §123A.21: Service Cooperatives
Under this statute, Subd. 1, NJPA was originally created as 1 of 10 Minnesota Service Cooperatives. Our previous name was the North Central Service Cooperative (NCSC) and we are now doing business as the National Joint Powers Alliance® (NJPA).

The primary purpose of the service cooperatives, under Subd. 2, is identified to be the performance of  planning on a regional basis and to assist in meeting specific needs of clients in participating governmental units, which could be better provided by a service cooperative than by the members themselves.

M.S.123A.21, Subd. 7 details the 23 programs and service categories that service cooperatives are to operate in, and this subdivision states that the service cooperatives are not limited to those categories. Under Subd. 7 the NJPA Board of Directors, in conjunction with its many advisory committees, annually develops a plan identifying the programs and services it will implement each year.

Additional References

M.S. §123A.21 Subd. 3: Membership and Participation
Full Membership with a service cooperative shall be limited to public school districts, cities, counties and other governmental units as defined in section 471.59 and NJPA’s Bylaws and Policies. Governmental units are not required to join NJPA as Full Members, but they must sign on as NJPA Participating Members to access our contracts and to validate their purchases. Many local policies require Membership to legally access contracts held by other agencies. NJPA provides a Participating Membership and Joint Powers Agreement at no cost. When a board signs a Joint Powers Agreement it qualifies that board to serve on the NJPA Joint Powers Advisory Board. The Participating Membership and Joint Powers Agreements both establish a legal paper trail between NJPA and the Member as contracts are accessed.

M.S. §123A.21 Subd. 5(g)
Shows that the powers of the board of directors of a service cooperative are written very broadly to grant extensive authority. This statute states “The board of directors shall have authority to maintain and operate a service cooperative.” More specifically, “The service cooperative board of directors may enter into contracts with other public and private agencies and institutions to provide administrative staff and other personnel as necessary to furnish and support the agreed-upon programs and services.”

M.S. 123A.21 Subd. 9(d,e): Service Cooperative Defined
Subd. 9 defines the Service Cooperative (SC) under (d) the SC is a public corporation and agency and its board of directors may make application for, accept, and expend private, state and federal funds that are available for programs of the Members. (e) The SC is a public corporation and agency and as such, no earnings or interest of the SC may incur to the benefit of an individual or private entity.