Contracting Process

Each Lead Public Agency follows their own process to develop, advertise, solicit, evaluate and award contracts. See each individual solicitation, either on our Solicitations page or on the respective Contract documentation page, for details on the specific process followed.

However, all contracts in the Axia Cooperative portfolio do follow certain guidelines:

  • Each solicitation follows a Request For Proposal (RFP) process to ensure best value. This means that other factors besides price are considered during evaluation.
  • The Lead Public Agency (LPA) must have a need for the products and/or services being solicited in the RFP. In other words, if they were not leading the solicitation through the Axia program, they would have facilitated an RFP on their own.
  • The LPA prepares the solicitation using their usual forms and procedures. Axia may consult with the LPA to recommend cooperative purchasing language to include in the document, as well as requirements that may help the agreement better comply with statutes and procedures across the country.
  • The LPA conducts their solicitation process as documented in the RFP. Solicitation amendments may be issued by the LPA.
  • As proposals are received by the LPA (proposals should only be sent directly to the LPA, not Axia), the LPA then conducts their evaluation. It is important to note that representatives from Axia may serve to advise the evaluation committee (simply to provide insight on the national aspects of a potential cooperative award). Axia’s representatives do not hold a “vote” on the committee, nor can they provide a score for any proposal. The LPA and their designated evaluation committee hold the full responsibility of determining each contract recipient.
  • The LPA may conduct negotiations with shortlisted supplier(s), to ensure that best value is achieved.
  • Upon contract award, each awarded supplier may then approach other public agencies. Given that the contract and its processes comply with participating agencies’ needs, those agencies may substitute their own procurement process to leverage the agreement and make a purchase with the supplier (a process commonly referred to as “piggybacking”).

Questions? Let us know!