ARPA Allows for Utilizing Purchasing Cooperatives
A number of members have requested guidance as to the ability of local governments to utilize the Suburban Purchasing Cooperative (SPC) and other purchasing cooperatives when spending American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
This week NWMC, SPC staff on behalf of The Cooperative contacted Sourcewell and the other SPC vendors who utilize purchasing cooperatives and we are pleased to report that their legal teams have advised that utilizing cooperatives “satisfy requirements of the CARES Act, American Rescue Plan or any COVID-19 relief Federal funding.”
NWMC SPC staff received the following on Thursday from Sourcewell, with whom the SPC recently joined forces to offer over 170 new products and services:
“The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), along with the CARES Act and the similar recent legislation, were passed by Congress to address conditions specifically relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing public health emergency. This legislation contained direct funding for state, local, and tribal governments, and local education agencies (LEA).
Outside of the specific allowable categories of expenditures, the ARPA legislation did not impose additional procurement requirements when purchasing utilizing this funding. Generally, state, local, and tribal governments, and LEA must only make purchases of items or services consistent to respond to the public health emergency and must do so following any applicable state or federal procurement requirements.
The legislation defines broad categories of what funding recipients could purchase consistent with the intent of the law. However, the law contains no additional discussion on purchasing rules applicable to the use of cooperative purchasing contracts for allowable expenses.
Because this is federal funding, the compliance standards applicable are Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) rules and the USDE General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) requirements. The procurement standards in 2 CFR § 200.317to § 200.326 are applicable to purchasing agencies when conducting a compliance analysis for purchases using federal funding. Additional requirements may also apply based on the specific federal funding source. Purchasing agencies should verify state and agency-specific guidance and requirements as may be applicable.
As the contract-awarding government agency, Sourcewell cooperative purchasing contracts address certain elements of federal procurement standards required relating to the solicitation process. Specifically, Sourcewell:
Maintains a documented procurement and conflict of interest policy (2 CFR § 200.318)
Awards to responsible suppliers (2 CFR § 200.318)
Provides for a full and open competitive solicitation process (2 CFR § 200.319)
Conducts a competitive sealed proposal process (2 CFR § 200.320)
Includes Appendix II to Part 200 terms (2 CFR § 200.326, App. II to Part 200)
The remainder of compliance analysis will depend upon the specific actions of the purchasing agency. Purchases may require a case-by-case analysis as a variety of variables including, but not limited to the source of funding, agency-specific rules and other federal guidance, the type of purchase, the internal process of the purchasing agency, state law, local policy, etc. Ultimately, under all federal rules the final analysis of compliance with the guidelines is the responsibility of the purchasing agency.
The SPC seeks to provide as much information about the solicitation process to aid purchasing agencies with conducting the required compliance analysis under the applicable guidelines. Specific questions extending beyond documentation which can be provided by the SPC should be directed to the agency’s respective counsel.”
In addition, the following are other SPC contracts that piggyback onto larger cooperative purchasing contracts that are in compliance:
Warehouse Direct Office and Janitorial Supplies (Contract #189) through the National Cooperative Purchasing
Alliance (NCPA) agreement with American Office Products Distributors (AOPD), solicited and awarded by lead agency Region XVI Education Service Center, Abilene, TX
Graybar Electrical Services (Contract #192) awarded to Graybar/OMNIA Partners for Electrical Lighting
Data/Communication, Networking, Wireless, Security & Related MRO Supplies & Services by lead agency, the City of Kansas City as Contract #EV2370
For questions or additional information, please contact Sourcewell Contract Manager/ Supplier Development Administrator Maureen Knight, 218-831-3030 or Maureen.Knight@sourcewell-mn.gov. Warehouse Direct Senior Account Executive Spencer Touchie, 360-670-1285 or email@example.com or Graybar Strategic Contract Manager-Omnia Partners Jeff Peskuski, 630-640-4905 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPC Offers COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits from Warehouse Direct
As employees have all begun to return to the workplace, the COVID-19 rapid test kits are in high demand, with some employers requiring weekly testing. The Suburban Purchasing Cooperative (SPC) is pleased to announce that Warehouse Direct (Contract #189) has FDA Emergency Use Authorization COVID-19 rapid testing kits available on a first come, first served basis.
The QuickVue SARS Antigen Test detects SARS-CoV-2 antigens directly from anterior nares swab specimens. The QuickVue SARS Antigen Test provides accurate and reliable results in 10 minutes, allowing for COVID-19 testing of symptomatic patients within the first five days of symptoms and asymptomatic patients when tested serially.
• Manufacturer - Quidel
• Stock Number QDL-20398
• Count: 25 / Carton
• Warehouse Direct Pricing - $499.99 / Carton ($19.99 per kit)
• Expiration date - April 21, 2022