Three major cooperative procurement groups have banded together to from an independent alliance promising to uphold ethics in procurement and respect among cooperatives and user groups. The National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA), National IPA, and The Cooperative Purchasing Network (TCPN) announced the formation of this group on Nov. 13.

The administrators of three of the largest cooperative procurement programs for public agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations in the United States have affirmed their commitment to the public procurement profession and contracting process. They believe that transparency and open competition in the public procurement process is the foundation upon which procurement processes should be conducted.

“It was time for us to show that we all have the same goals in mind, and that’s to serve the agencies themselves and to establish a level of ethics and a level of respect, not only between us, but also respect for the agencies and their input,” said Mike Hajek, director of contracts and marketing for NJPA.

The groups are working to create structure that will provide a forum to share best practices and ensure consistent positive communication between cooperatives. The alliance is open to public procurement practitioners, agencies, suppliers, cooperative programs, and professional associations that can contribute to its benefits.

Hajek said the alliance will not jointly create new contracts, and public agencies will continue to work with the cooperative of their choice and make decisions based on their comfort levels and needs. The only change for contract users, Hajek said, is knowing that these cooperatives are now working together to build respect among themselves and with their customers.

Alliance members are working on a frequently asked questions sheet that will answer questions about the group.