The purpose of the formation was to achieve standardization of requirements, methods of operation and to buy at optimum quantity discounts. The purchasing officers were also charged with the creation of Price agreements (PA) for use by the members. The IUC-PG normally meets every other month. At these meetings price agreement award decisions are made.
The IUC-PG establishes various Price Agreements ranging from dormitory mattresses to computers. The bidders list is maintained electronically at the IUC-PG website (www.IUC-PG.com). Responsibilities for writing specifications and conducting the individual bidding procedures is coordinated by the Director of Strategic Procurement with the help of the IUC-PG membership. The Director and or the Members are responsible for the bid process in the assigned agreements. Specifications follow guidelines established by the IUC-PG and are issued in standardized format. Bids are tabulated by either the Director of Strategic Procurement or the bidding school, award recommendations and the bidding documents are forwarded to the Director of Strategic Procurement who presents them to the IUC-PG membership for a vote. Award decisions are based on the most responsive and responsible bid submitted in response to the bidding documents and consideration is given to price, quality, capability, services offered by the bidder, and any other criteria listed in the bidding documents.
IUC-PG price agreements are similar to State of Ohio (Purchasing) contracts in many respects. Some agreements are for a specific item or group of items and awarded to a single bidder, while others seek competitive proposals for various manufacturer’s lines with multiple awards being issued. The IUC-PG tries not to duplicate the intent of, or conflict with, State of Ohio contracts.
The price agreements issued by the Inter-University Council Purchasing Group are handled very professionally, provide an open and competitive forum for all interested vendors, comply with competitive bidding principles and are designed to provide significant cost savings and increased services to member institutions. Members are not required to purchase from the price agreements. The price agreements are a tool to assist the schools in their procurement needs. The IUC-PG is always open to ideas for establishing new price agreements.
Award decisions are published in a document designated as a Price Agreement (PA). The price agreement documents are distributed to the successful bidder(s) and to each member institution of the IUC-PG. As the need occurs, each institution issues their own purchase order with price, terms and conditions of the price agreement. Purchase orders reference the established price agreement number. Price agreements are generally issued for a one to three year time period with possible options to extend for additional one year periods by mutual consent at the same price, or discount, terms and conditions. Price agreements have varied effective dates and normally include a mandatory 30 to 90 day grace period if needed.
In addition to those items or services for which there are IUC-PG price agreements, many of the colleges and universities also have their own contracts. Some of these institutional contracts contain provisions to extend the privilege of the contract to the other member institutions of the IUC-PG. These contracts, and other applicable consortium agreements, may be absorbed by the IUC-PG if the selected vendor’s agree and the IUC-PG membership approves of the process.
The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO) is the private university counter-part to the IUC-PG. Each IUC-PG bid document contains a clause that allows suppliers to extend their pricing to all members of the AICUO. The value of joint purchasing is well known among educational institutions. It is a common practice for institutions to pool their buying power.