NASPO Forms National Cooperative Purchasing Organization

February 27, 2013

The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) has formed a subsidiary entity, the WSCA/NASPO Cooperative Purchasing Organization to manage its national cooperative purchasing program. A 21-member Management Board led by elected chair Kent Beers, the chief procurement officer for the State of Utah, has been appointed to oversee the operations and activities of the new organization.

Since 1993, the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) served as the primary cooperative purchasing arm of NASPO and encouraged, fostered, and guided participating members to work collaboratively in an effort to create true procurement cooperatives. The WSCA portfolio of 40 plus cooperative contracts covering commodities and services that range from computer equipment to body armor to infant formula is a true testament to their success. These WSCA contracts, and more recently NASPO cooperative contracts from other regions of the country, benefit countless public entities including states, cities, counties, and higher education institutions.

The WSCA/NASPO Cooperative Purchasing Organization represents a unified, nationally-focused cooperative purchasing program that will leverage the collective expertise and experience of WSCA and NASPO, aggregate the demand of all 50 states and their political subdivisions, and help spur innovation and competition in the marketplace.

Ron Bell (Virginia), NASPO immediate past president, noted that “WSCA/NASPO is fortunate to have at this time a leadership team that came together and developed a highly effective organizational model to support the continued growth of this most successful program for years to come.”

Douglas Richins, former chief procurement officer for the State of Utah and a founding member of WSCA, will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the new organization. “Building upon WSCA’s very firm foundation, the new WSCA/NASPO Cooperative Purchasing Organization will facilitate even more collaboration among all states. This repositioning will accelerate the benefits of cooperative contracts originated and administered by expert state procurement professionals and benefit taxpayers throughout the nation,” Richins stated.

The formation of the new cooperative purchasing subsidiary was possible due to the readiness, dedication, and enthusiasm of NASPO members.

According to current NASPO President Carol Wilson (Connecticut), “this collaborative effort speaks to the commitment the members have to the success of the organization and their continued leadership as a national team.”

The WSCA/NASPO Cooperative Purchasing Organization will continue development of the eMarket Center, an online marketplace designed to enhance end-user buying activities, improve strategic purchasing, provide analytics, and expand overall transparency into spending. Chair Kent Beers sums up the formation of the new organization as “bringing together the combined purchasing power of all

NASPO member states and resulting in greater price discounts, stronger contract terms and conditions, and improved maintenance and service agreements. We invite all local governments and public entities to take a look at the benefits offered through our WSCA/NASPO cooperative contracts.”

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