Get all the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What is NCPA?

NCPA is a leading national government purchasing cooperative working to reduce the cost of goods and services by leveraging the purchasing power of public agencies in all 50 states.  NCPA utilizes state of the art procurement resources and solutions that result in contracts that ensure all public agencies are receiving products and services of the highest quality at the lowest prices.

Who can use NCPA?

There are over 90,000 agencies nationwide from both the public and nonprofit sectors that are eligible to utilize the NCPA program. These include, but are not limited to the following agency types: 

  • School Districts (including K-12, Charter schools, and Private K-12)
  • Higher Education (including Universities, Community Colleges, Private Colleges, and Technical / Vocational Schools)
  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Local Government
  • State Agencies
  • Healthcare Organizations
  • Church/Religious
  • Nonprofit Corporations

What does a public agency do to participate?

All that is required is for your agency to register with NCPA at www.ncpa.us/Register.  Once you have completed registration you will receive a confirmation email for your records.

Does it cost anything to participate with NCPA?

No.  There are no costs or obligations for your agency to participate with us.  Registration is free and there are no volume minimums on purchases.

Can my agency use the contracts without going out for solicitation?

Yes.  All NCPA contracts have been competitively solicited by a lead public agency.  Each solicitation contains language that allows the contract to be used by other government agencies.  State statutes allow one government agency to purchase from contracts competitively solicited by another government agency.

Who is NCPA's lead public agency?

Region 14 ESC is NCPA's lead public agency.  Region 14 ESC is a local governmental agency in the state of Texas, authorized by Chapter 8 of the Education Code.  Section 8.008 states the center is considered to be a state agency and each employee is considered to be a state employee.  For further information of Chapter 8 click on the link.

What is NCPA's solicitation and award process for contract?

NCPA works with Region 14 ESC, who as the lead public agency that competitively solicits national master contracts for use by all public agencies. Contracts are awarded based on quality, performance, and most importantly pricing.  These contracts are established using the following process:

  1. Region 14 ESC issues a competitive solicitation for a product or service on behalf of NCPA and all public agencies.
  2. The solicitation is advertised nationally for a minimum of 30 days.
  3. The solicitation contains language that allows the contract to be accessible nationally to public agencies in states whose laws allow for intergovernmental contract use (also known as "piggybacking" or "adopting")
  4. Vendors respond to the solicitation with sealed responses that are recorded and publicly opened.
  5. Region 14 ESC evaluates the responses based on "Identified Evaluation Criteria" and awards contracts.

Can I see documentation of the solicitation process associated with each competitively solicited contract?

NCPA provides all the due diligence documents needed on each individual vendor page under the Contract Docs tab.  Click on the link to be transferred to the Vendor Pages.

How do I use a NCPA awarded vendor?

After you have registered with NCPA click on this link to find a listing of all awarded vendors.  Here you will find a great deal of information that will allow you to research and contact the vendor of your choosing so you can start working together.  Billing is executed directly from the servicing vendor.  No different than if you were using your own contracts.

What is a Joint Powers or Cooperative Procurement Authority?

State statutes and, if applicable, local ordinances generally allow one government agency to purchase from contracts competitively solicited by another government agency ("Lead Public Agency").  Generally, a public body may participate in, sponsor, conduct or administer a cooperative procurement agreement with one or more other public bodies, or agencies of the United States, for the purpose of combining requirements to increase efficiency or reduce administrative expenses.

Where can I find my states’ statutes regarding cooperative purchasing?

Click on this link to go to your individual state statutes.

How do I become a NCPA awarded vendor?

Companies interested in becoming a awarded vendor must respond to a solicitation for the commodity or service that best fits their offering.  All solicitations are advertised through USA Today and posted at www.ncpa.us/Solicitations.  Also you can conveniently follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn, or register with Bonfire to keep up with notifications.  We are always open to new ideas for prospective contracts so please do not hesitate to contact us.