SUPPLIER GUIDE
COSTARS PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION
Revised 11/26/2013
Forward
The purpose of this guide is to acquaint potential suppliers with the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania's cooperative purchasing program, "COSTARS", managed by the Department of
General Services (DGS) Bureau of Procurement.
The COSTARS Program provides registered local public procurement units as well as state
affiliated entities (together “members”) and suppliers a tool to find and do business with each
other effectively through the use of a contract established by DGS.
We welcome you as a potential supplier to the COSTARS Program.
2
Introduction
The passage of the Commonwealth Procurement Code, Act 57 of 1998 ("Code"), permitted
local public procurement units (LPPUs) and state-affiliated entities to engage in cooperative
purchasing with the Commonwealth. Initially, DGS limited the LPPUs' cooperative purchasing
options to certain statewide agency contracts. In spring 2004, DGS developed the COSTARS
Program to increase the cooperative purchasing options available to its members.
In 2004, the General Assembly passed an amendment to the Code that expanded DGS's
authority, allowing DGS to enter into contracts exclusively for the benefit of LPPUs and stateaffiliated entities. DGS has included these special non-Commonwealth agency contracts, known
as "COSTARS-exclusive contracts", as part of its COSTARS Program. All DGS contracts
through which LPPUs and state-affiliated entities may make purchases, including specific
statewide agency contracts as well as COSTARS-exclusive contracts, are part of the COSTARS
Program. Local purchasers using these contracts must be registered COSTARS members.
This guide is for suppliers who wish to do business with COSTARS members through the use of
a COSTARS-exclusive contract established by DGS. (Commonwealth agencies may not make
purchases from COSTARS-exclusive contracts.) While this guide addresses COSTARSexclusive contract participation, suppliers may also do business with COSTARS members
through the use of certain statewide agency contracts. For more information regarding
statewide agency contracts participation, please visit the DGS Bureau of Procurement webpages at www.dgs.state.pa.us/procurement.
3
Table of Contents
ONE
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
TWO
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
OVERVIEW
Page 6
Legislative History
Contracts
Member-Specific Benefits of COSTARS Participation
Supplier-Specific Benefits of COSTARS Participation
Frequently Asked Questions
MEMBERS
Page 8
Member Eligibility
Member Registration
Member Participation
Purchasers
THREE GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SUPPLIERS
3.1
3.2
3.3
FOUR
4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.7
4.8
4.9
FIVE
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8
5.9
5.10
5.11
Page 10
Supplier Registration
Registering with the PA Department of State
Department of General Services Certified Small Business
SOLICITATIONS & SOLICITATION RESPONSES
Page 11
Bidding Opportunities
eAlert Notifications
Solicitations
Submission of Bids
Exceptions or Qualifications to Provisions
Facsimile Bids
Electronic Bidding
Bid Opening Date
Public Bid Openings (Paper Bids)
EVALUATION, AWARDS & PERFORMANCE
Signature of Bid
Questions
Multiple Awards
Administrative Fee
Bid Protest
COSTARS-Exclusive Contract Accessibility
Contractor Responsibility Provisions
Performance Bond (Security)
“Installation” when applicable as an Ancillary Service
Subcontracting
Right-to-Know Law
4
Page 13
SIX
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
CONTRACT SALES
Page 16
Ordering and Payments
Volume of Sales
Marketing
Sales Reporting
Suppliers’ Gateway
APPENDIX A
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Page 18
APPENDIX B
DEFINITIONS
Page 19
5
ONE
OVERVIEW
1.1
Legislative History – COSTARS is a program managed by the Department of General Services
(DGS) for local public procurement units (LPPUs) and state affiliated entities within the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as established by Section 1902 of Act 57 on May 15, 1998
(“Commonwealth Procurement Code”), as amended by Act 142 of December 3, 2002, 62 Pa.
C.S. Section 1902 and Act 77 of July 15, 2004, 62 Pa. C.S. Sections 1902 and 2107. These acts
authorize LPPUs and state affiliated entities (together “members”) to purchase from those
contracts for supplies and services made available by DGS.
1.2
Contracts – DGS awards specific contracts for Commonwealth agencies' use statewide.
Registered COSTARS members may also purchase from many of those statewide agency
contracts for which suppliers have consented to participate. In 2004, the Pennsylvania General
Assembly amended the Commonwealth Procurement Code to direct DGS to issue special
contracts solely for the use of LPPUs and state-affiliated entities for certain supplies and
services. DGS has included these special non-Commonwealth agency contracts, known as
"COSTARS-exclusive contracts", as part of its COSTARS Program. All DGS contracts through
which LPPUs and state-affiliated entities may make purchases, including specific statewide
agency contracts as well as COSTARS-exclusive contracts, are part of the COSTARS Program.
1.3
Member-Specific Benefits of COSTARS Participation
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1.4
Flexibility – Members have the option to purchase from COSTARS-exclusive contracts, from
a large selection of statewide agency contracts for which suppliers have consented to
participate, or from any other cooperative procurement contracts. Participation in any
COSTARS purchasing is completely voluntary; each member is free to obtain supplies and
services through its regular procurement procedures.
Cooperative Purchasing Requirements – Because the Commonwealth awards contracts
through its own competitive bidding process, COSTARS procurements meet the cooperative
purchasing requirements under the Commonwealth Procurement Code for local government
purchasing. However, other statutory provisions, including but not limited to the requirement
for prevailing wage determinations in certain circumstances and other construction-related
requirements, may apply to specific purchase orders by particular types of entities.
Dollar Savings – Volume purchasing results in lower prices; using contracts established by
DGS eliminates the need for specifications development, advertising, printing, mailing and bid
evaluation.
Best Value – Members determine the “best value” for their purchase; each member decides
what will best suit their needs. Factors considered may include administrative cost and timesavings, compatibility with existing equipment, delivery time, or keeping spend in their local
community.
Convenience – Using contracts established by DGS facilitates the purchase of supplies and
services by simply issuing a purchase order to a contractor.
Education – Free training, workshops and a quarterly newsletter are provided by COSTARS
staff to assist members on how to use contracts, how to purchase from specific contracts of
interest, as well as other topics of interest and trends in government purchasing.
Supplier-Specific Benefits of COSTARS Participation
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Additional Business Opportunities – There are several thousand COSTARS members taking
advantage of existing contracts. A complete list of currently registered COSTARS members
can be found on the DGS COSTARS web-pages.
COSTARS Brand – COSTARS participating contractors may use the COSTARS name and
logo in broadcast or Internet media and on business cards, brochures, and other print
publications, in accordance with contract terms and conditions.
6
ONE
OVERVIEW (Continued)
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1.5
Flexibility – COSTARS-exclusive contracts do not dictate any specific lists of items. Rather, a
bidder may offer any type or number of items within the scope of the contract. Resellers may
bid as many manufacturers' product lines as the manufacturers authorize them to sell. A
contractor may supplement its COSTARS-exclusive contract to provide pricing for additional
items within the scope of the contract in accordance with the contract terms and conditions or
to remove items or services it no longer wishes to offer at any time. A contractor may update
its COSTARS-exclusive contract pricing information to adjust its pricing in accordance with
the contract terms and conditions.
Leases and Installment Purchases – Where applicable, leasing and installment purchases
are options a contractor may offer.
Ancillary Services – Certain COSTARS-exclusive contracts enable a contractor to offer
ancillary services in conjunction with the products it provides to a purchaser. Sample ancillary
services include, but are not limited to, special delivery, training, extended warranty, and
post-warranty support and maintenance. However, any ancillary services offered must be: (1)
expressly authorized in the original Invitation for Bids/Contract, (2) directly related to the
delivery, installation or normal use of the product or component parts purchased, (3) limited
to the actual product or component parts purchased, and (4) initiated/ordered at the time of
product purchase. Stand-alone services are not within the scope of a supply contract.
Dealer Network – All COSTARS-exclusive contracts enable a contractor to offer contract
items through its local dealer network.
Volume Sales – Members may purchase jointly to mutually benefit from quantity discounts.
Frequently Asked Questions – For more information regarding the COSTARS Program,
please view the frequently asked questions along with their official answers via the “FAQ’s” on
the DGS COSTARS web-pages.
7
TWO
2.1
MEMBERS
Member Eligibility – Entities eligible for COSTARS membership include any LPPU defined as:
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Any political subdivision (local government unit), such as a municipality, school
district, or commission;
Any public authority (including authorities formed under the Municipality
Authorities Act of 1955 or other authorizing legislation, such as the Public
Transportation Law or the Aviation Code);
Any tax-exempt, nonprofit educational institution or organization;
Any tax-exempt, nonprofit public health institution or organization;
Any nonprofit fire, rescue, or ambulance company; and
Any other entity that spends public funds for the procurement of supplies and
services such as a council of governments, an area government, or an
organization that receives public grant funds).
The Department reserves the right to review and determine eligible applicants as
Local Public Procurement Units on a case-by-case basis.
A state-affiliated entity is a Commonwealth authority or other Commonwealth entity that is not a
Commonwealth agency. The term includes:
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The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission;
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency;
The Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System;
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority;
The State Public School Building Authority;
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority; and
The State System of Higher Education
The COSTARS Program is not available for use by Executive Agencies and
Independent Agencies as defined by the Commonwealth Procurement Code, or
any agency or entity using funds appropriated to the Department of General
Services through Capital Budget Project Itemization legislation for the
procurement of furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
2.2
Member Registration – DGS requires LPPUs and state affiliated entities to register as
COSTARS members, and only those entities registered with DGS may purchase from contracts.
Should the supplier become aware of, or be contacted by, any potential purchaser not currently
registered as a COSTARS member, where the potential purchaser believes it may qualify for, and
wishes to participate in, the COSTARS Program, the supplier may refer the potential purchaser to
the DGS COSTARS web-pages to complete the User Registration and COSTARS Membership
online application processes.
2.3
Member Participation – COSTARS members have the option to purchase from COSTARSexclusive contracts, from a large selection of statewide agency contracts for which suppliers have
consented to participate, or from any other cooperative procurement contracts. Member
participation in any COSTARS purchasing is completely voluntary, meaning that each COSTARS
member is also free to obtain products and services through its regular procurement procedures.
8
TWO
2.4
MEMBERS (Continued)
Purchasers – The supplier understands that it will not be providing any items directly to DGS or
any other Commonwealth agency under a COSTARS-exclusive contract. Any contract that DGS
bids as a COSTARS-exclusive contract is for exclusive use by LPPUs and state affiliated entities
who have registered with DGS as COSTARS members.
Currently, there are several thousand registered COSTARS members, and the list of registered
members continues to grow. A list of registered entities, updated frequently, is available on the
DGS COSTARS web-pages.
9
THREE
3.1
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SUPPLIERS
Supplier Registration – In spring 2007, DGS adopted the MySAP Supplier Relationship
Management (SRM) system for suppliers of goods and services to the Commonwealth. SRM is a
secure, web-based system that allows suppliers to search and respond to current statewide
agency contracts, manage account information, and access other collaborative functions. In fall
2009, DGS extended SRM to procurement suppliers participating on COSTARS-exclusive
contracts. A critical component of SRM is supplier registration.
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 agency or COSTARSexclusive contract. The Supplier Registration process is available at
www.pasupplierportal.state.pa.us. NOTE: If your company already has a six-digit vendor
number issued by the Commonwealth, you may already be registered.
For more information regarding registration, please visit the “Supplier Service Center” at
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/supplier_service_center/5104.
The Supplier Service Center contains helpful tools to provide assistance throughout the Supplier
Registration.
Registering and receiving a vendor number does not mean that you are an awarded
supplier and able to sell your products 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.
3.2
Registering with the PA Department of State – Under Pennsylvania Law, every proceeding for
the organization of corporations, both for-profit and nonprofit, and every ancillary transaction
relating to such corporations is required to be filed with the Department of State Corporation
Bureau. Other businesses registering with the Bureau include: professional corporations,
municipal authorities, and limited partnerships, foreign corporations (incorporated outside of
Pennsylvania) qualifying to do business in the Commonwealth and individuals and corporations
conducting business under an assumed or fictitious name.
DGS asks all bidders other than individuals using their given names to supply evidence with their
bids to show compliance with these requirements. If your business is not incorporated or
registered in Pennsylvania, you must take action to register prior to being approved for a
COSTARS-exclusive contract.
Forms for registering with the Department of State can be found on their website at
http://www.dos.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/corporations/12457/forms/571880.
3.3
Department of General Services Self-Certified Small Business – Executive Order 2011-09
establishes the Small Business Procurement Initiative (SBPI) to develop and create more state
contracting opportunities for small businesses. For the first time, small businesses will be able to
bid on certain state contracting opportunities that have been reserved for competition among selfcertified small businesses only. Although the COSTARS program has focused on small
businesses since its inception in 2005 (two-thirds of COSTARS-authorized suppliers are small
businesses), this initiative makes it easier for those businesses to compete for and be awarded
state contracts.
In implementing the executive order, DGS has centralized the certification process for small
businesses. To see if your firm qualifies as a DGS Self-Certified Small Business, information and
a step-by-step instruction guide for self-certification is available at www.smallbusiness.pa.gov.
10
FOUR
SOLICITATIONS & SOLICITATION RESPONSES
4.1
Bidding Opportunities – All COSTARS-exclusive contract bidding opportunities are published
on the DGS COSTARS web-pages. DGS does not post on its website any one particular
COSTARS member’s request to contract for a specific purchase. Any contract that DGS bids as a
COSTARS-exclusive contract is available for use to all COSTARS members.
4.2
eAlert Notifications – The eAlert system is the mechanism the Bureau of Procurement utilizes to
notify potential bidders of bidding opportunities and changes to any posted solicitations. EAlerts
are accessible through the PA Supplier Portal at www.pasupplierportal.state.pa.us.
If you are not currently registered as a supplier via the PA Supplier Portal you must do so to be
able to select the categories you wish to receive eAlerts for. Once registered using the PA
Supplier Portal, select the following menu path: “Bidder” tab, “Enterprise Applications”, “DGS email Notifications (eAlerts)” and select the categories your company may qualify for. If you fail to
select your categories you will not receive any eAlert notifications.
If you are already registered on the PA Supplier Portal at www.pasupplierportal.state.pa.us, log in
using your PA Supplier Portal registration information, and then follow the menu path: “Bidder”
tab, “Enterprise Applications”, “DGS e-mail Notifications (eAlerts)”. If you fail to select a category
you will not receive any eAlerts notifications.
The system will allow you to enter multiple e-mail addresses to receive these notifications. You
can do this by selecting “Set Alternate e-mail Address” at the top of eAlerts page once logged in.
Not setting an alternate address will have your email default to the address provided from your
PA Supplier account.
4.3
Solicitations – DGS uses the Competitive Sealed Bidding process to establish COSTARSexclusive contracts. Suppliers participate in the COSTARS Program as contractors by submitting
a responsible and responsive bid to a COSTARS Invitation for Bids (IFB) to receive a COSTARSexclusive contract award.
4.4
Submission of Bids – Refer to the Instructions to Bidders for COSTARS Contracts for detailed
information on submission of bids.
4.5
Exceptions or Qualifications to Provisions – The Instructions to Bidders for COSTARS
Contracts and COSTARS Contract Standard Terms and Conditions are uniform for all
COSTARS-exclusive contracts. DGS does not change these provisions for any specific contract
beyond what may be specific in the Special Terms and Conditions for that contract. Therefore,
bidders should not propose changes to the terms and conditions with their bids, as proposing
changes or noting exceptions may be grounds for rejection of the bid. If there is any question
about these terms, the bidder should submit the question to the attention of the DGS Commodity
Specialist identified in the COSTARS IFB.
4.6
Facsimile Bids – Facsimile Bids are not accepted.
4.7
Electronic Bidding – Electronic bidding is not available for COSTARS-exclusive contracts.
However, the bidder should include in its hard-copy (printed) bid package an electronic
submission of all offered items and pricing on a diskette or CD (Flash drive is not acceptable). It is
the responsibility of the bidder to ensure that any electronic document it may submit is virus-free
and in a format accessible by DGS (such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat, etc.).
11
FOUR
4.8
SOLICITATIONS & SOLICITATION RESPONSES (Continued)
Bid Opening Date – All COSTARS-exclusive contract bidding opportunities are continuous.
Continuous bidding permits prospective suppliers to submit a bid on a COSTARS-exclusive
contract at any time, instead of waiting for a supplemental bidding opportunity.
Bids will be accepted on any given Commonwealth business day. Any bid received after the Bid
Opening Time (1:30 PM Eastern) will be opened on the next Commonwealth business day.
4.9
Public Bid Openings (Paper Bids) – Public bid opening will consist of a Commonwealth
Procurement Representative opening and announcing the suppliers whose bids were timely
received. Suppliers will not be allowed to review the paper bids at the opening.
12
FIVE
EVALUATION, AWARDS & PERFORMANCE
5.1
Signature of Bid – The original Bid must be signed in ink. When the Bidder/Contractor is a
corporation, the president or a vice president should sign the COSTARS BID/CONTRACT (Form
GSPUR – 15COSTARS). If another corporate representative signs the Bid/Contract, the bidder
should include a copy of a corporate resolution or by-laws authorizing that individual to sign the
Bid/Contract on behalf of the corporation, to demonstrate that the individual has legal authority to
bind the corporation. The DGS Corporate Certification form is also an acceptable proof of
signature authority. If the bidder is a partnership, a general partner should sign the Bid/Contract;
for a limited liability company, the manager should sign; and for sole proprietorships, the owner
should sign the Bid/Contract. Any other signature on the Bid/Contract form requires a proof of
delegation of authority acceptable to the Commonwealth.
5.2
Questions – Any questions concerning conditions and specifications must be directed to the
attention of the DGS Commodity Specialist identified in the COSTARS IFB.
5.3
Multiple Awards – DGS awards COSTARS-exclusive contracts to all responsible and responsive
bidders. Because everyone who is responsible and responsive will be awarded a contract, DGS
will not compare bidders' pricing submittals for COSTARS-exclusive procurements. Although
pricing will not be a factor in contract award, pricing may be a consideration when members
select a contractor and place their orders. Consequently, each bidder should present their very
best response to an IFB.
5.4
Administrative Fee – Suppliers are required to pay the appropriate fee in each contract period,
for each COSTARS-exclusive contract, and according to the following criteria:
Required
Administrative
Fee
Bidder Classification
Department of General Services
Self-Certified Small Business
All Other Bidders
$500
$1,500
If the bidder is a Department of General Services Self-Certified Small Business, the bidder must
submit its active Small Business Procurement Initiative (SBPI) certificate with its bid and each
year upon renewal.
The Administrative Fee is not a security; it is a fee charged to all COSTARS-exclusive contract
suppliers. The Administrative Fee shall include a nonexclusive license to use the COSTARS
Brand (COSTARS name and logo). Any bidder whose bid is rejected, where the Bidder has paid
the fee, will receive a refund of this fee from the Commonwealth.
5.5
Bid Protest – Refer to the Instructions to Bidders for COSTARS Contracts for guidance
regarding bid protest procedure.
5.6
COSTARS-Exclusive Contract Accessibility – DGS posts to the COSTARS web-pages a
"Book of Awards" including contractor data, offered products and pricing, as well as any link to a
contractor’s website. Prospective COSTARS purchasers may access the "Book of Awards" by
way of the COSTARS Members area.
13
FIVE
5.7
EVALUATION, AWARDS & PERFORMANCE (Continued)
Contractor Responsibility Provisions – For detailed information on contractor responsibility
provisions, please refer to the COSTARS Contract Standard Terms and Conditions. The bidder's
bid submission including its signed Bid/Contract form functions as the certification of contractor
responsibility. If the bidder is unable to make the certification because of a specific set of
circumstances, the bidder must submit, along with its bid, a detailed written explanation.
The supplier may obtain a current list of suspended or debarred Commonwealth suppliers by
searching the DGS Procurement web-pages.
5.8
Performance Bond (Security) – DGS does not require performance security for COSTARSexclusive contracts. Though DGS holds the COSTARS-exclusive contracts for the benefit of thirdparty purchasers, as DGS is not a purchaser of the contracted items, the requirement of a bond
would be difficult for DGS to administer or enforce. The COSTARS-exclusive contracts have
several provisions providing substantial protection for the purchasers, including the potential that
DGS could suspend or debar any contractor defaulting on any purchase order, which would affect
that contractor’s ability to do business in municipalities and states throughout the U.S., and
potentially in other countries as well.
Performance bond, if required by the purchaser, shall be negotiated and executed between the
purchaser and the contractor, without DGS involvement.
5.9
“Installation” when applicable as an Ancillary Service – Where applicable in certain
COSTARS-exclusive contracts, installation is only allowed under very strict dollar thresholds. In
addition, DGS offers the following guidance regarding the appropriate uses of the installation
provision:
a. Procurements in which the total project cost (including, but not limited to, all supplies,
equipment, and installation labor) is less than the amount established by statute for local
governmental entities and school districts for advertised competitive bidding or $25,000,
whichever is less, and require installation may be done under the COSTARS contract if such
contract allows for installation. Governmental entities and school districts are still required to
comply with any applicable statutes including, but not limited to, requirements for
performance or payment bonds.
b. Procurements in which the total project cost (including, but not limited to, all supplies,
equipment, and installation labor) is more than the amount established by statute for local
governmental entities and school districts for advertised competitive bidding or $25,000,
whichever is less, and require installation may not be done under the COSTARS contract.
c. Procurements for the purchase of the materials only, where any installation will be done by
employees of the local governmental entity or school district, may be done under COSTARS
contract regardless of the total cost of the materials.
Governmental entities are not permitted to split up a project to bring the total project cost, which
includes, but is not limited to, all supplies, equipment, and labor below certain statutory thresholds
in order to circumvent statutory requirements. Rather than using the COSTARS contracts, which
are primarily supply contracts and not structured for any type of construction activity, projects
such as these should be bid in accordance with statutory requirements. It is important to note that
the ultimate liability for failure to comply with those statues and regulations for those projects lies
with the local governmental entity.
5.10
Subcontracting – In accordance with Subsection 26.b. of the COSTARS Contracts Standard
Terms and Conditions, “A Contractor shall not subcontract with any person without the
Purchaser’s prior written consent, which consent may be withheld at the Purchaser’s sole and
absolute discretion.”
14
FIVE
EVALUATION, AWARDS & PERFORMANCE (Continued)
However, provided that the bidder includes the name of its subcontractor(s) in its bid submission,
any COSTARS member ordering those services under the COSTARS-exclusive contract would
by implication be approving the service subcontractor. Subsection 26.b. is intended to prevent a
contractor from substituting a previously unspecified third party under its COSTARS-exclusive
contract without the Purchaser’s consent.
Please refer to the COSTARS Contracts Standard Terms and Conditions, Section 26,
Assignability and Subcontracting, in its entirety.
5.11
Right-to-Know Law – The Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. §§ 67.101-3104, applies to
COSTARS-exclusive contracts.
This legislation requires most state contracts, including COSTARS-exclusive contracts, to be
available for public viewing on an internet website. To comply with this legislation, COSTARSexclusive contracts are published within the COSTARS Members area of the COSTARS webpages and are also accessible from the PA eMarketplace web-pages. This means that you are
able to view your competitors’ COSTARS-exclusive contracts and they are able to view yours.
While anyone may access COSTARS-exclusive contracts directly from these web-pages, this
does not change the requirement that eligible LPPUs and state affiliated entities register as
COSTARS members, and only those entities registered with DGS may purchase from a contract.
15
SIX
CONTRACT SALES
6.1
Ordering and Payments – Any COSTARS member electing to purchase from a contract will
order items directly from the Contractor and be responsible for payment directly to the Contractor.
Each purchase order will incorporate the contract terms and conditions. The supplier is required
to confirm membership using the online member database, “List of COSTARS Members”, on the
DGS COSTARS web-pages.
6.2
Volume of Sales – As there are multiple awards and no requirement for COSTARS members to
purchase from any particular awarded supplier, DGS does not guarantee volume of contract
sales.
6.3
Marketing – It is the sole responsibility of the awarded supplier to promote their offered products
and services to registered COSTARS members.
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List of COSTARS Members – A complete list of currently registered COSTARS members
can be found on the DGS COSTARS web-pages. Contractors are encouraged to utilize
this member database for their own marketing purposes.
COSTARS Brand – DGS has registered the COSTARS name and logo (together, the
“COSTARS Brand”) as a trademark with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
COSTARS participating contractors may use the COSTARS Brand in broadcast or
Internet media and on business cards, brochures, and other print publications, in
accordance with contract terms and conditions.
Contractor Dedicated Website – DGS strongly encourages each contractor to provide a
dedicated website for COSTARS members to include a complete listing with contract
pricing for all items required under the contract, product and customer support
information, and the capability for COSTARS members to place online orders for contract
items, in accordance with COSTARS-exclusive contract terms and conditions. Neither the
manufacturers nor their authorized resellers are excluded from participation as
COSTARS suppliers if they are unable to provide a dedicated website.
To introduce the COSTARS Program and increase awareness and participation, COSTARS
Program staff may:
 Participate in expos, conventions, forums and trade shows.
 Conduct workshops throughout the Commonwealth.
 Attend state legislators’ grant workshops.
 Publicize contracts and opportunities using the DGS website and trade publications.
 Publish periodic newsletters.
 Survey the membership to determine their needs and what new opportunities may exist
to satisfy them.
 Conduct supplier forums.
6.4
Sales Reporting – Contractors are required to report their contract sales to COSTARS members
to the DGS COSTARS Program Office on at least a quarterly basis, according to the terms and
conditions of their contract. Contractors shall submit the reports using the web-based COSTARS
Supplier Gateway.
This data is compiled and analyzed by COSTARS staff and reported to the appropriate reviewing
organizations. In addition, this sales data is the primary accountability measure of the overall
effectiveness of the COSTARS Program and assists DGS to institute program improvements.
16
SIX
6.5
CONTRACT SALES (Continued)
Supplier Gateway – The COSTARS Supplier Gateway is accessible by way of the COSTARS
Suppliers area web-page or by logging in directly to the PA Supplier Portal at
www.pasupplierportal.state.pa.us and following the path “Bidder” and “Enterprise Applications”.
The Supplier Gateway enables suppliers who have been awarded a COSTARS-exclusive
contract to:
 Review Participation and System Training Materials
 Review and Update Contact Information
 Review Bid Item Workbook exactly as it appears to Members
 Review the Terms and Conditions of the Contract
 Electronically assemble and report quarterly contract sales
 Pay Contract Administrative Fee by credit card
17
APPENDIX A
TERMS & CONDITIONS
The following documents comprise a COSTARS-exclusive contract IFB:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
Instructions To Bidders for COSTARS Contracts (COSTARS ITB)
COSTARS Bid/Contract (GSPUR-15COSTARS)
Bid Item Workbook and Checklist
GSPUR-89 Reciprocal Limitations Act Requirements
COSTARS Contract Special Terms and Conditions (COSTARS SpTsCs)
COSTARS Contract Standard Terms and Conditions (COSTARS STD)
Contract Provisions - Right to Know Law
Please refer to COSTARS-exclusive contract bidding opportunities published on the DGS COSTARS
web-pages to review these documents in detail.
18
APPENDIX B
DEFINITIONS
The following are definitions of terms that may be used for purposes concerning COSTARS.
Act 57: Act 57 of May 15, 1998. (Known as Commonwealth Procurement Code, 62 Pa. C.S. 101)
Section 1902 permits Local Public Procurement Units (LPPUs) to engage in cooperative purchasing with
the Commonwealth.
Act 142: Amends the Commonwealth Procurement Code. Act 142 of December 3, 2002, 62 Pa. C.S.
Section 1902 expands the definition of eligible entities.
Act 77: Amends the Commonwealth Procurement Code. Act 77 of July 15, 2004, 62 Pa. C.S. Sections
1902 and 2107requires DGS to create contracts for the exclusive use of LPPUs and state-affiliated
entities.
Advertising: The placement of a public notice of a contracting opportunity.
Agency: An executive or independent agency.
Agency Head: The Secretary, or other official, who is first in responsibility within an agency.
Amendment: A written alteration in specifications, delivery point, rate of delivery, period of performance,
price, quantity, or other provisions of any contract.
Assignment: The transfer or taking over by another of a contract or any part of a contract or any
contractual right or duty.
Bid: A firm and unconditional offer in response to an invitation for bids.
Bidder: A person that submits a bid in response to an invitation for bids.
Competitive Bidding: The offer of firm bids by individuals or entities competing for a contract, privilege,
or right to supply specified materials or services.
Contract: A type of written agreement, regardless of what it may be called, for the procurement of
supplies, services, or construction and executed by all parties in accordance with the Commonwealth
Attorney's Act, Act of October 15, 1980 (P. L. 950, No. 164).
Contract Modification: A written alteration in specifications, delivery point, rate of delivery, period of
performance, price, quantity, or other provisions of any contract accomplished by mutual action of the
parties to the contract. Sometimes called an “amendment”.
Contracting Officer: A person authorized to enter into and administer contracts and make written
determinations with respect to contracts.
Contractor: Any person that has entered into a contract with a Commonwealth agency.
COSTARS: The Commonwealth's cooperative purchasing program managed by the Department of
General Services, Bureau of Procurement, for local public procurement units (LPPUs) and state affiliated
entities as established by Section 1902 of Act 57 on May 15, 1998 (“Commonwealth Procurement Code”),
as amended by Act 142 of December 3, 2002, 62 Pa. C.S. Section 1902 and Act 77 of July 15, 2004, 62
Pa. C.S. Sections 1902 and 2107.
COSTARS Brand: COSTARS name and logo registered as a trademark with the Pennsylvania
Department of State.
19
APPENDIX B
DEFINITIONS (Continued)
COSTARS-Exclusive Contract: Non-Commonwealth agency contract established by the Pennsylvania
Department of General Services through which registered local public procurement units and stateaffiliated entities may make purchases.
Cure Notice: A notice, either oral or in writing, that informs the supplier that he or she is in default and
states what the supplier has to do correct the deficiency. If the notice is oral it shall be confirmed in
writing.
Debarment: Action taken by the head of the purchasing agency to remove a person or entity from
consideration for an award of any Commonwealth contract or subcontract for a specified period of time.
Delivery Date: The date, as stated within the contract, when items are required to be delivered or
services are to be rendered.
Department of General Services Certified Small Business: To self-certify and participate in the Small
Business Procurement Initiative, a business must meet each of the following requirements:
 The business must be a for-profit, United States business.
 The business must be independently owned.
 The business may not be dominant in its field of operation.
 The business may not employ more than 100 full-time equivalent employees.
 The business, by type, may not exceed the following three-year average gross sales:
o Procurement Goods - $20 million
o Procurement Services - $20 million
o Construction - $20 million
o Building Design Services - $7 million
o Information Technology Goods and Services - $25 million
Additional information and a step-by-step instruction guide for self-certification is available at
www.smallbusiness.pa.gov.
DGS: The Department of General Services.
Effective Date: A date fixed by the contracting officer that is on or after the date the contract has been
fully executed by the contractor and by the purchasing agency and all approvals required by
Commonwealth contracting procedures have been obtained. The contract shall not be a legal and binding
contract until after the Effective Date is affixed and the contract is sent to the contractor.
Electronic: Any electrical, digital, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic or other form of technology that
entails capabilities similar to these technologies. Electronic includes transmission via a telefacsimile
device.
Executive Agency: The Governor and the departments, boards, commissions, authorities, and other
officers and agencies of the Commonwealth. The term does not include any court or other officer or
agency of the unified judicial system, the General Assembly and its officers, and agencies or any
independent agency or state-affiliated entity.
Expiration Date: The date on which a contract expires. The last date when work to be billed under the
contract can be performed.
Evaluation of Bids: The process of examining a bid after opening to determine the bidder’s
responsibility, responsiveness to requirements, and other characteristics of the bid relating to selection for
award.
20
APPENDIX B
DEFINITIONS (Continued)
Force Majeure: An irresistible or extraordinary force, natural event, or effect that cannot be reasonably
anticipated or foreseen, prevented, or controlled. An act of God.
Grant: A furnishing of assistance by the Commonwealth or any person, financial or otherwise, to any
person to support a program. The term does not include an award whose primary purpose is to procure
construction for the grantor. A contract resulting from such an award is a procurement contract and not a
grant.
Independent Agency: Boards, commissions, and other agencies and officers of the Commonwealth
which are not subject to the policy supervision and control of the Governor. The term does not include
any state affiliated entity, any court or other officer or agency of the unified judicial system, the General
Assembly and its officers and agencies, any state-related institution, political subdivision or any local,
regional, or metropolitan transportation authority.
Invitation for Bids ("IFB"): All documents, including those either attached or incorporated by reference,
used for soliciting bids.
License: Permission or authority to use personal property for specific purposes without possessing title
to, or any interest in, the property itself.
Life Cycle Cost: The total cost of the supply in terms of purchase cost, installation cost, maintenance
cost, energy cost, supply cost, and other costs.
Local Public Procurement Unit (LPPU): The term includes any political subdivision; any public
authority; any tax-exempt, nonprofit educational institution or organization; any tax-exempt, nonprofit
public health institution or organization; any nonprofit fire, rescue, or ambulance company; and
any other entity that spends public funds for the procurement of supplies, services, and construction.
Materials: Supplies, excluding insurance.
Option to Renew: A provision of the IFB and included as a provision within the contract which allows the
continuance of a contract for an additional time period.
PA Supplier Portal: A website which provides suppliers with access to Commonwealth procurement
opportunities and procurement documents while allowing them to manage catalogs and update company
data. It also supports communication between the Commonwealth and suppliers.
Party: Any person, corporation, unincorporated association, partnership, state governmental agency,
political subdivision, authority, another state, or the government of the United States.
Performance Bond (Security): Security provided by a contractor solely for the protection of the
purchasing or using entity receiving the materials or services, conditioned upon the faithful performance
of the contract in accordance with plans, specifications, and conditions of the contract.
Procurement: Buying, purchasing, renting, leasing, licensing, or otherwise acquiring any material,
service, or construction. The term also includes all functions that pertain to the obtaining of any material,
service, or construction, including description of requirements, selection and solicitation of sources,
preparation and award of contract, and all phases of contract administration.
Procurement Description: The words used in a solicitation to describe the material, service, or
construction to be procured. The term includes specifications attached to or made a part of the
solicitation. Sometimes called “Contract Scope”.
Programs & Systems Division: A division within the DGS Bureau of Procurement responsible for
managing the COSTARS Program. The Programs & Systems Division provides various services to
21
APPENDIX B
DEFINITIONS (Continued)
suppliers, agencies, and communities and other non-profit organizations; in addition to the COSTARS
Section, the Programs & Systems Division consists of the Supplier Development & Support Section,
PIBH/CI Section, and Systems Section.
Protest: A written complaint about an administrative action or decision brought by a bidder to the
appropriate administrative section with the intention of receiving a remedial result.
Purchase Order: Written authorization from a purchasing or using entity for a contractor to proceed to
furnish a material or service in accordance with the terms of the IFB and the awarded bidder's bid or a
contract.
Responsible Bidder: A bidder that has submitted a responsive bid and that possesses the capability to
fully perform the contract requirements in all respects and the integrity and reliability to assure good faith
performance.
Responsive Bid: A bid, which conforms in all material respects to the requirements and criteria in the
invitation for bids.
Responsive Bidder: A person who has submitted a bid or proposal which conforms in all material
respects to the invitation for bids.
Sealed Bid: A bid whose contents are not disclosed until the bid opening date and time. Bids are
typically submitted in sealed envelopes to meet this requirement.
Services: The furnishing of labor, time, or effort by a contractor not involving the delivery of a specific
end product other than drawings, specifications, or reports which are merely incidental to the required
performance.
Signature: A distinctive mark or characteristic indicating identity.
Small Business Procurement Initiative (SBPI): Executive Order 2011-09 establishes the SBPI and
directs DGS to develop initiatives to create more opportunities in procurement for small businesses. The
executive order firmly establishes the Commonwealth’s commitment to providing opportunities for small
businesses to compete for prime contracting opportunities with the goal of promoting the economic
growth and success of small businesses. Businesses interested in participating as a small business in the
SBPI, must first register to do business with the Commonwealth and self-certify as a “small business”.
Specifications: The description of the physical or functional characteristics or the nature of a material or
service. It may include a description of any requirement for inspecting, testing, or preparing a material or
service for delivery.
State-Affiliated Entity: A Commonwealth authority or a Commonwealth entity. The term includes the
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Pennsylvania
Municipal Retirement System, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, the State Public
School Building Authority, the Pennsylvania Higher Educational Facilities Authority and the State Systems
of Higher Education. None of these terms includes any court or other officer or agency of the unified
judicial system, the General Assembly and its officers and agencies, PHEAA, any political subdivision or
any local, regional or metropolitan transportation authority.
Statewide Agency Contract: A contract entered into by DGS which covers the multi-year, annual,
semiannual, or quarterly contract requirements of all Commonwealth agencies and allows the agencies to
order needed materials, services, or construction directly from the contractor. Sometimes called a
“Statewide Requirements Contract”.
22
APPENDIX B
DEFINITIONS (Continued)
Subcontractor: An individual, business, university, governmental entity, or nonprofit organization
contracting to perform part, or all, of another entity's contract.
Supplier: A bidder or contractor offering to provide materials and/or services. May also be referred to
as a “vendor”.
Supplier Registration: A series of steps suppliers must complete in order to gain access to the PA
Supplier Portal. All procurement suppliers must register to be considered a source of supply or services
and to respond to Commonwealth contract solicitations.
Supplier Service Center: A website which provides suppliers with the tools necessary to conduct
electronic business with the Commonwealth. The Supplier Service Center houses information related
to viewing and responding to current Commonwealth Bids and Managing User and Company Data.
Supplies: Any property including, but not limited to, equipment, materials, printing, insurance, and
leases of and installment purchases of tangible or intangible personal property. The term does not include
real property or leases of real property.
Suspension: The temporary disqualification of a person or entity from consideration for an award of any
Commonwealth contract or subcontract for a period of up to three (3) months pending further
investigation or the completion of legal proceedings if there is probable cause for debarment.
Taxes: Certain purchasers may be exempt from excise taxes imposed by the Internal Revenue Service,
Pennsylvania state sales tax, local sales tax, public transportation assistance taxes, and fees and vehicle
rental taxes. A purchaser may be registered with the Internal Revenue Service to make tax-free
purchases. DGS will require each Purchaser claiming any tax exemption to complete the appropriate
areas on the PO form to notify the Contractor of the applicable tax exemptions. The Pennsylvania
Department of Revenue’s regulations provide that exemption certificates are not required for sales made
to governmental entities and no such certificates are issued.
23