Ulmer sees another change in the fact that procurement professionals who use cooperative sales contracts save time and resources. “They have become a necessity for small agencies that do not have the staff or resources to meet all needs.” In the case of cooperation agreements, it is likely that the OMB PRA will need to be reviewed and approved if the NIJ plays an important role in the design, development of methodology and analysis of data collection. Given that the amount of NIJ participation at the time of submission may not be clear, applicants proposing research involving more than nine (9) advisorys should consider that an authorization of the PRA OMB is necessary and take this information into account when developing the application, including the proposal, the research plan, the schedule and the budget. Ulmer says that procurement teams are taking the following steps to deal with the increased workload: document and justify the need for additional staff; Raise the tender threshold for the purchasing expert to focus on major purchases; delegate small purchases of dollars to purchasing services; and local cooperatives, as well as government and national contracts, as approved by the rules and regulations of their management unit. Public procurement professionals are also faced with the lack of cooperation agreements with price structures. “The Agency is required to call the contractor to request a price proposal. In the absence of indicative prices, the buyer must then determine whether the proposal constitutes a fair and reasonable offer. The time it takes the buyer to conduct the search, to confirm that the prices are fair and reasonable, varies and depends on internal procedures. According to Ulmer, large supply cooperatives require coverage of goods/services from coast to coast or on a multi-regional basis. It notes that some local and small businesses may not be able to serve national agreements and are therefore excluded from these offers. Ulmer says public procurement professionals, who are the leading agency for cooperative contracts, have the knowledge and tools to enable small and disadvantaged businesses to participate in the contract. In these cases, Ulmer says, the buyer can explore other cooperation agreements to get similar proposals. “The buyer can negotiate the discount and the prices offered, or he can simply have confidence that the supplier offers the best value for money.” Ulmer also says that cooperative purchases now involve agreements between different government agencies.

She says this development has become popular as a result of budget cuts and purchasing services to do more with fewer resources. “The agencies have combined their requirements for goods and services to obtain the best price for their regional region based on these estimated quantities. The pen agency would do heavy lifting. This method is still alive today and works well,” she adds. By seeking contracts made by nearby government authorities or contracts directly awarded to minority, female property (MWBE) or local businesses, buyers obtain the efficiency of cooperative purchases while maintaining the obligation to cooperate with traditionally undernourished companies. Indeed, cooperation agreements can be an effective tool to stimulate the growth of small and diversified enterprises, especially within a region, when an agency decides to make it a priority. In addition, even national cooperation agreements will often allow local subcontractors or resellers to reconcile local or varied business preferences with the need to do things with a little research.

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