The partnership brings to South Carolina a purchasing program first created by the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Texas in 1975. HGACBuy staff receive bids and assist with local government purchasing around the nation. The program improves pricing and can help eliminate the need for each municipality to handle all details of each competitive bid process.
On October 14, HGACBuy and the Municipal Association will host an online partnership panel event to discuss the benefits of cooperative purchasing and how South Carolina municipalities can take advantage of the program. Registration for that event is available now.
HGACBuy helps with purchasing in 41 major categories of products. The category for public works equipment, for example, ranges from garbage and recycling containers to construction and maintenance tools, street maintenance and sweeping equipment, utility meters and traffic control devices, among other items.
The program also handles the purchase of services, and works with more than 800 contractors. Service categories include community planning to public relations and events, temporary staffing and hiring services, emergency planning and recovery services, sewer cleaning services and others.
The City Connect Market webpage features links to product listings under all of the contract categories. Users can search the available products or services, or can contact the Municipal Association with a specific request. The Association will work with the product vendor to ensure that the municipality receives a quote using the HGACBuy pricing guidelines.
After the municipality receives and approves a quote, the Association will work directly with HGACBuy to place the order. The Association serves as a liaison to assist the municipality throughout the purchasing process. Those cities and towns that wish to use this process should review their procurement ordinances to make sure that cooperative purchasing partnerships are an approved purchasing method.