History of the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA)
AEPA started in 2000 with 10 member states with purchasing professionals who had the mutual goal of securing combined volume purchasing contracts based on potential sales by qualifying customers in participating states using:
- Combined expertise
- Existing vendor relationships
- Experience and overall vision
How does AEPA work?
AEPA conducts bi-annual meetings where bid responses are reviewed and evaluated by all AEPA member agencies. Once bids are approved for award by AEPA, each AEPA member state selects contracts they feel will best help their respective states. Contracts are typically awarded for one base year, with options to renew for three additional years.
In addition these bi-annual meetings serve to:
- Redefine organizational bylaws, policy and procedures
- Consider new state members
- Select product categories to solicit
- Select task groups and committee members
The Education Cooperative participates in a national non-profit organization, the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA), a cooperative purchasing group consisting of 29 member states. TEC’s involvement with the group began in 2010 when Massachusetts allowed interstate cooperative purchases.
Local jurisdictions may, pursuant to Chapter 30B, section 22, purchase supplies (but not services) from contracts that have already been procured by an in-state or out-of-state agency, as long as the contract is open to local jurisdictions and was procured in a manner that constitutes full and open competition. All AEPA bids have been advertised by TEC in accordance with Massachusetts State regulations. There is no formal membership process, fee or dues to utilize AEPA pricing but it is the district’s responsibility to perform due diligence.