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The Commonwealth’s Cooperative Purchasing Program 


Passport to Business Opportunity and Procurement Saving 

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COSTARS is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program administered by the Department of General Services (DGS) Bureau of Procurement.  COSTARS provides registered local public procurement units as well as state-affiliated entities (members) and suppliers a tool to find and do business with each other effectively through the use of a contract established by DGS.



To encourage, expand and facilitate the opportunities for eligible entities (members) to achieve procurement savings and best value through an interactive partnership with the Commonwealth

To provide increased opportunities for suppliers of any size to participate and compete for members’ business

To provide contracts with competitive pricing, while providing increased opportunities for suppliers and eligible participants


MEMBERS (Potential Purchasers):

The Commonwealth Procurement Code, ("Procurement Code"), permits local public procurement units (LPPU) and state-affiliated entities to engage in cooperative purchasing with the Commonwealth.  The Procurement Code authorizes DGS to enter into cooperative purchasing contracts solely for the use of LPPUs or state-affiliated entities. 




DGS requires eligible LPPUs and state affiliated entities to register as COSTARS members, and only those organizations registered with DGS may purchase from contract.  Several thousand potential purchasers are already registered with DGS as COSTARS members. 



Suppliers participate in COSTARS as contractors.  Suppliers are required to register their business in the PA Supplier Portal and receive a six-digit vendor number as a prerequisite to bidding on a statewide or COSTARS-exclusive contract.  The Supplier Registration process is available at  Registering and receiving a vendor number does not mean a supplier has been awarded a contract and is able to sell to COSTARS members.  To become a COSTARS supplier, one needs to respond to bidding opportunities that are published on the DGS COSTARS or PA eMarketplace web-pages.  A supplier that successfully responds to a contract solicitation may be awarded a contract.