ATTENTION: Co-op Directors; Superintendents; Child Nutrition Directors
Participating in inter-governmental
and inter-agency agreements can offer greater economy and efficiency for
procurement or use of common or shared goods or services (2 CFR 200.318(e)). School
Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in these agreements must still conduct
competitive procurement in accordance with 2 CFR Part 200.318-326 and
applicable program regulations and guidance. Specifically, SFAs must ensure
- Costs paid from the nonprofit food services account are necessary, reasonable, allocable, and otherwise allowable per 2 CFR 200.403 and the applicable cost principles in 2 CFR 200, subpart E.
- Procurements are conducted in a manner maximizing full and open competition consistent with Federal procurement standards in 2 CFR 200.318-327 and in applicable Program regulations.
Group Purchasing Organizations, Buying
Organizations, and Third-Party Vendors are collectively referred to as GPOs,
these often include Child Nutrition Programs and non-program operators such as
public and private schools. GPO’s could be private for-profit or nonprofit
entities. A GPO is typically structured in a way that may include a membership
fee paid by member users, who are then granted access to the GPO price list of
products and services. Paying a fee does not constitute compliance with the
competitive procurement process that is required.
party entities as mentioned above include groups outside of the child nutrition
program that control all aspects of the procurement process from solicitation
to evaluation. Examples of these groups include but are not limited to TIPS/TAPS
and educational co-ops.
If used by SFAs, formal procurement procedures consistent with 2 CFR Part
200.318-327 and program regulations must be followed. If a fee is required to
cover overhead or administrative costs, that fee must be stated in the
agreement. Other parties may be added to these procured contracts if the
original contract included a provision allowing “piggybacking”. When
competitive procurement methods are conducted by the SFA, GPO price lists may
be one source of prices when using small purchase procedures, sealed bids or
competitive proposals. However, to comply with procurement regulations, the SFA
must obtain at least one additional quote to ensure that they are receiving the
Failure to competitively procure goods and services is a violation of
Federal regulations and may result in delays, disputes, findings of noncompliance,
and costs being disallowed.