COSTARS is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program and serves as a conduit through which registered and eligible Pennsylvania local public procurement units (LPPUs) and Pennsylvania state-affiliated entities (together "Members") are able to leverage contracts established by DGS to cost-effectively and efficiently identify suppliers with whom to do business. The goals of this program are:
- To encourage, expand, and facilitate the opportunities for Members to achieve procurement savings and the 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.
The Commonwealth Procurement Code provides the statutory authority for Member 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 its Members. DGS requires eligible Pennsylvania LPPUs and state-affiliated entities to register as COSTARS members, and only those organizations registered with DGS may purchase from the contract. Several thousand potential purchasers are already registered with DGS as COSTARS members. Learn more about COSTARS participation for Member entities.
Businesses interested in participating in the COSTARS program as Suppliers are required to register in the PA Supplier Portal to receive a six-digit vendor number as a prerequisite to bidding on statewide or COSTARS-exclusive contracts. More information about the supplier registration process is available by visiting the Supplier Service Center. Following supplier registration and to become a COSTARS supplier, businesses must respond to bidding opportunities published on the department's COSTARS or PA eMarketplace webpages. A Supplier that successfully responds to a contract solicitation may be awarded a contract. Learn more about COSTARS participation for Suppliers.