Legal Authority

The following summary is a highlighted explanation of the enabling legislation referenced by and guiding NJPA. The plain language of the statutes, from our perspective, allows NJPA very clear authority to serve current and future Members through cooperative efforts.

MN Enabling Legislation

  • Minnesota Statute 123A.21 Subd. 7 (23)
    Identifies the specific directive for our service cooperative to provide "cooperative purchasing services" to our Members.
  • Minnesota Statute 123A.21 Subd. 9 (d)
    The Service Cooperative (NJPA) 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.
  • Minnesota Statute 123A.21 Subd. 9 (e)
    The Service Cooperative (NJPA) is a public corporation and agency and as such, no earnings or interest or the Service Cooperative (NJPA) may incur to the benefit of an individual or private entity.
  • Minnesota Statute 471.345: Municipal Contracting Law
    NJPA claims organizational status as a “Municipal Agency” under the authority of this definition and reference of 123A.21 Subd. 9 (d-e) Subd. 15 which defines “Cooperative Purchasing” abilities.
  • M.S. 471.345 Subd. 1: Municipality Defined
    For purposes of this section, “municipality” means a county, town, city, school district or other municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state authorized by law to enter into contracts.
  • M.S. 471.345 Subd. 15: Cooperative Purchasing
    Our national association, the “National Joint Powers Alliance®” (NJPA), takes its name from this statute. A municipality may contract for the purchase of supplies, materials, or equipment without regard to the competitive bidding requirements of this section if the purchase is through a national municipal association’s purchasing alliance or cooperative created by a Joint Powers Agreement that purchases items from more than one source on the basis of competitive bids or quotations.

MN Statute 471.59: Joint Exercise of Powers

Make note of Subd. 1 which defines the ability of two governmental agencies to enter into an agreement to contract in common through the action of each of the governing bodies. Subd. 10 expands on the ability to enter into cooperative agreements.

  • M.S. 471.59 Subd. 1: Agreement
    Two or more governmental units, by agreement entered into through action of their governing bodies, may jointly or cooperatively exercise any power common to the contracting parties or any similar powers, including those which are the same except for the territorial limits within which they may be exercised. The agreement may provide for the exercise of such powers by one or more of the participating governmental units on behalf of the other participating units. The term “governmental unit” as used in this section includes every city, county, town, school district, other political subdivision of this or another state, another state, the University of Minnesota, and any agency of the state of Minnesota or the United States, and includes any instrumentality of a governmental unit. For the purpose of this section, an instrumentality of a governmental unit means an instrumentality having independent policy making and appropriating authority.
  • M.S. 471.59 Subd. 10: Services Performed by Governmental Units; Commonality of Powers
    Notwithstanding the provisions of Subd. 1 requiring commonality of powers between parties to any agreement, the governing body of any governmental unit as defined in Subd. 1, may enter into agreements with any other governmental unit to perform on behalf of that unit any service or function which the governmental unit providing the service or function is authorized to provide for itself.

“Joint Exercise of Powers” Agreement

The Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement with NJPA provides access to NJPA and its contracts. This allows NJPA to access the Member participating agencies’ contracts as well. The Joint Powers Agreement may not be necessary if the participating agencies’ state law allows for state-to-state “piggy backing” on legal state contracts. All NJPA contracts are legal state contracts as NJPA operates under Minnesota legislative authority to provide cooperative purchasing services to participating Members. The Joint Exercise of Powers offers a legal link between NJPA and its Member agencies as contracts are accessed. NJPA bids and awards contracts in full compliance with Minnesota Municipal Contracting Law, M.S. 471.345.