Why use IMESD/AEPA purchasing contracts?
IMESD participates in a national non-profit organization, the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA), a cooperative purchasing group. The mission of IMESD’s involvement with AEPA is to cooperatively serve Oregon public agencies through a continuous effort to explore and solve present and future purchasing needs. IMESD is the member agency representing Oregon in AEPA through an IMESD board-approved Memorandum of Understanding between all participating states that are political subdivisions related to K-12 education. All AEPA bids have been advertised by IMESD in Oregon.
IMESD is authorized to offer these contracts to other government entities including school districts, state universities, community colleges, special districts, as well as local and state government. Provisions provided in these bid solicitations ensure compliance with Oregon specific law. IMESD and its legal counsel have carefully examined all aspects of the program and determined that the requirements for joint cooperative procurement are in fact satisfied.
It is also important for you to know that there is no formal membership process, fee or annual dues to utilize AEPA pricing. IMESD’s contract management efforts are funded by a nominal administrative fee paid by the vendor based on sales volume.
How does AEPA work?
AEPA conducts bi-annual meetings where bid responses are reviewed and evaluated by all AEPA member agencies. Once bids are approved for award by AEPA, each AEPA member state selects contracts they feel will best help their respective states. Contracts are typically awarded for one base year, with options to renew for three additional years.
In addition to reviewing and awarding contracts, these bi-annual meetings serve to:
- Redefine organizational bylaws, policy & procedures
- Consider new state members
- Select product categories to solicit
- Select task groups and committee members
AEPA started in 2000 with 10 member states, including IMESD in Oregon, with purchasing professionals who had the mutual goal of securing combined volume purchasing contracts based on potential sales by qualifying customers in participating states using:
- Combined expertise
- Existing vendor relationships
- Experience & overall vision