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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Joint Procurements

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the lead agency include the diesel/hybrid buses as part of this procurement even though diesel it's not allowed in the area? A couple of agencies have come together to do a joint bus procurement. The lead agency identified a need for gas/hybrid buses only. The other agencies need diesel/hybrid. The lead agency's area is not allowed to use diesel as dictated by the air quality resource board.

We see no reason your joint procurement cannot identify the various agencies participating and what their individual needs is expected to be. While your agency's needs will not include the diesel engines; other agencies have that need. The question arises, however, as to whether issuing a joint solicitation like this will limit competition. If not, we see no reason not to procure jointly. (Revised: September 9, 2009)

Minnesota Cooperative Purchasing Venture Letter (PDF) (Posted: July 30, 2013)

The Circular 4220.1F defines Joint Procurements as "a method of contracting in which two or more purchasers agree from the outset to use a single solicitation document and enter into a single contract with a vendor..." Based on this definition are the participants in a joint procurement prohibited from awarding individual agreements that are based on the requirements of the original consolidated solicitation if it can be proven that doing so makes more economic sense and more efficient contract administration?

The purchasers in a joint procurement may award individual contracts for their particular needs as long as those contracts reflect the terms and conditions in the competitive solicitation and the proposal that was submitted by the winning contractor. One approach that has been used for joint bus procurements is for the lead agency to award the basic contract with pricing, specifications, terms and conditions, etc., and then to have the participating agencies issue individual purchase orders against the basic contract as funding becomes available to the agencies during the life of the contract. The purchase orders would reflect the basic contract unit prices and reference the basic contract for other terms and conditions. (Posted: December, 2014)

Circular 4220.1F,Chapter 5, Section 3, JOINT PROCUREMENTS states: "FTA uses the term "joint procurement" to mean a method of contracting in which two or more purchasers agree from the outset to use a single solicitation document and enter into a single contract with a vendor for delivery of property or services in a fixed quantity, even if expressed as a total minimum and total maximum". This appears to disallow the use of multiple contracts when procuring in this manner. Our preference is for each agency to contract separately with the awarded vendor. Can you please clarify?

The definition of "joint procurements" in FTA C4220.1F was not meant to preclude the award of separate contracts by the individual agencies that are participating in the joint procurement, and in fact it would be a common practice to do so. (Posted: December, 2014)