Press Release

Conference Office Supplies Procurement Program Now Available Throughout Texas

October 18, 2000
Justin O'Brien
Extended Coverage

  • USCM Press Release: City and Local Governments May Save as Much as $50 Million Through Conference's New Computer Procurement Program (8/28/00)
  • Read coverage from ("Governments Piggyback for IT Savings") and the Atlanta Journal Constitution ("Government Units Get PC Price Breaks").
  • Washington, DC - The U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance (GPA) announces that its Office Supplies program is now available in Texas through an interlocal agreement with Dallas County. The contract was awarded to Office Depot as a result of a successful competitive bid process conducted by Dallas County and is now immediately available to cities, towns, counties and other local government entities throughout Texas. The GPA's office supplies program has saved cities and counties throughout the rest of the country over $50 million on office supplies purchases in the past three years with local governments saving over $35 million in 1999. The alliance has more than 10,000 standing accounts in 5,500 public jurisdictions.

    Jointly sponsored by The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the National Institute for Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) the GPA saves cities and local governments money by pooling the purchasing power of local governments and achieving bulk volume discounts. This is accomplished by having a large jurisdiction seek bids on specific products and commodities. Based on the expected volume, the prices on those products are cut drastically, providing great savings to city and local government buyers.

    The availability of the new contract allows Texan city and other local governments to buy office supplies at superior and exceptional discounts through the GPA supplier, Office Depot. Using Dallas County, TX as lead public agency, the contract pricing is available throughout Texas through interlocal agreement. The GPA also offers contracts for Office and Systems Furniture, Computer Equipment and Electrical and Communications Supplies.

    Substantially, the Dallas County contract offers a heavily discounted 100 item core list, a Most-Frequently-Ordered item catalog of over 4,000 items at a discount of 63% from list pricing with a 15% gross profit floor and the remainder of its full catalog of 13,000 items including the 4,000 Most-Frequently-Ordered items at a discount of 45% off list pricing, also with a 15% gross profit floor. Typical office supplies product categories that the 15% gross profit floor would apply to include: toners, business machines, organizers, portfolios, briefcases, furniture, computer supplies and DEM products. The GPA program offers free next-day delivery to the majority of cities and offers e-commerce and volume purchase incentives, in addition to the contract's superior pricing. The contract is valid through August 2002 with three (3) additional one-year options providing for long-term contract continuity.

    J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director of USCM, has described the GPA program's value in improving cost and operating efficiency in city and municipal governments today. "As today's Mayors are seen more and more as the Chief Executive Officers of America's cities and towns, they devise and seek out best practices and better, more efficient ways to operate. The U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance is a nuts and bolts management tool that facilitates just that. The result is more efficient and cost-effective service delivery and reduced management costs while providing greater benefit to taxpayers and freeing up resources to enhance constituent services."

    As part of their GPA program Office Depot offers internet-ordering capabilities which when coupled with e-commerce and volume incentives serve to facilitate even greater savings by city and local governments. Office Depot also offers traditional Electronic Data Interfacing (EDI) capabilities to GPA customers.

    Wellington Webb, Mayor of Denver and immediate Past President of USCM has noted "The integration of high technology to procurement activities is critical to the continued growth and prosperity of America's cities. The Office Depot and Graybar Electric programs provide great savings with reduced management costs in city purchasing operations."

    "County and other local governments are always looking for ways to provide better service without increasing the cost to residents," said Javier Gonzales, NACo President-Elect and Commissioner of Santa Fe County (NM). "This program enables governments to accomplish that goal. The savings that counties and cities have realized through the Office Depot program is a perfect example."

    Local governments will save in two primary ways when purchasing office supplies through the GPA program. Firstly, savings are realized by not having to go through a bidding process each time there's a need to identify a purchasing vehicle for office supplies as the contracts have already been competitively bid by a local government. Secondly, as a total purchase program for office supplies GPA's pricing is superior, with overall pricing at the best levels that Office Depot offers to local government. Typically, companies respond to contract proposals for office supplies with exceptional pricing only for identified core items. In contrast, the GPA office supplies program offers overall cost savings on a full range of products.

    Co-sponsored by USCM and NACo, The U.S. Communities Purchasing and Finance Agency is a non-profit instrumentality of government which organizes the collective purchasing power of government agencies nationwide. The GPA's Advisory Board is comprised of twelve city and county purchasing professionals from the cities of Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Fort Wayne, IN.; Houston, TX and Seattle, WA and the following counties: Fairfax County, Va.; Los Angeles County, CA; Hennepin County, MN; Orange County, FL; Erie County, NY and Santa Clara County, CA.

    The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are over 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.

    For more information about USCM's public procurement program, the US Communities Government Purchasing Alliance visit the Conference's GPA Program Information Center at