USCM Products and Services
July 31, 2000
Cities can now buy computers directly from the largest computer manufacturers in the world through the joint USCM-NACo U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance (GPA). Dell, Gateway, IBM and MicronPC have been awarded national contracts through the USCM-sponsored U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance by Fairfax County, Virginia. Fairfax also awarded contracts to Software Spectrum, the nationally-recognized software reseller in addition to Comark and CompUSA, the value-added computer resellers. All local governments in the United States are qualified to use the contracts. Wareforce Inc. will continue to offer both computer products and value-added services such as system design, consulting and training through the Los Angeles County contract. Tangent Computer will also continue to offer its most favored local government pricing to cities through the Merced County contract.
The USCM and NACo-sponsored procurement program bids contracts on behalf of all local and state governments, always using a large local government and a competitive bid process. U.S. Communities is sponsored jointly by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties and the program is endorsed by the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing, NIGP. The U.S. Communities GPA Advisory Board and steering committee is composed of 12 city and county purchasing officials from across the country including the cities of Houston, TX; Denver, CO; Chicago, IL; Seattle, WA; Fort Wayne, IN and Baltimore, MD.
"The pricing offered by these contracts is the best pricing available in the governmental marketplace today," notes Armand Malo, Director of Procurement for Fairfax County. "The direct manufacturers have committed themselves to providing the very best equipment for the very best prices to our nation's local governments."
The USCM-NACo U.S. Communities GPA also provides contracts for office supplies, office systems furniture and electrical, communications and data supplies. In 1999, local governments saved more than $37 million using the GPA's cooperative purchasing agreement contracts.
To use the contracts, cities only need to contact their preferred vendors directly. The key contact information necessary for cities to use the program is provided below. Each city or municipal government signs a participation agreement that validates their use of the contracts. Since all contracts are non-exclusive, use is discretionary and cities buy as little or as much as they desire via the GPA. The program has no membership fees, so any local government may participate.
The USCM-NACo technology purchase program provides web-based access, telephone and fax access to all ordering. Catalogues for each company are provided online, as are pricing and delivery options. Additional discounts are provided for large orders, so cities are encouraged to aggregate their purchases to gain the largest volume discounts.
Since the Fairfax County award includes multiple vendors, cities are also encouraged to get quotes from more than one source. The value-added resellers provide access to many additional manufacturers and service providers, as well as software, installation and training options. City purchasing and Information Technology officials should feel comfortable contacting any of the direct manufacturers, resellers or software providers for information and quotes.
The bid documents and final contracts can be viewed and downloaded at the Conference website at www.usmayors.org/GPA and at each of the vendor websites. For more information on the GPA programs, contact Justin O'Brien at the Conference at 1-888-828-8763. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.