About Collective Purchasing
The Collective Purchasing Program is a fee-for-service program that provides bidding, contracting and troubleshooting services to our member municipalities and others. This page describes the Program. If you are looking for a particular open or closed bid, go to https://frcog.org/bids/ or click on BIDS at the top of this page.
The Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) Collective Purchasing Program provides bidding, contracting, and troubleshooting services to municipalities, districts, and non-profit agencies. The Purchasing Program can save participants money by volume discount buying. We also save time and avoid potential legal risks by assuring that legally-required bidding processes are properly followed. A fee is charged for participation in any established bidding and contracting program. Consultation on any bidding or proposal project is also available on an hourly fee-for-service basis.
On July 1, 2019, the FRCOG absorbed the following Collective Purchasing Programs of the former Hampshire Council of Governments (HCG): Water Treatment Chemicals, Fuels, Highway Products and Services, Fire Extinguisher Maintenance, Tree Services, and Rental Equipment. In FY20, these programs ran side by side with FRCOG Programs, and in most cases under Contract Assignments to FRCOG. In FY21, programs became fully integrated.
FRCOG collectively bids approximately 22 different products and services for Highway Departments in Franklin County and in other Western MA communities.
Highway Products and Services
Approximately 22 different, multi-faceted Highway products and services are offered to participants on a fiscal year basis. There is an annual fee charged to participate in any number of the highway products and services which is billed annually. Surveys are sent to potential participants in February; returned surveys are collated with quantities required for all items to be bid; bids are issued and mailed to vendors for each different bid; bid openings are held in public meetings; bids are reviewed for errors, proper documents, etc.; bid results are prepared and sent to participants with recommendation for awards; participants respond by providing their award decisions for service bids, and contracts are drawn up for vendor and participants’ electronic signatures and execution. FRCOG awards the supply bids on behalf of participants; contracts are drawn up and awards are made. Contract management, troubleshooting, and program assistance are provided on an as-needed basis.
The FRCOG offers the opportunity to any Massachusetts Municipality, School, or Non-Profit Agency to participate in one, two or all three of the fuel bids: #2 Heating Fuel, Diesel Fuel, and 2 grades of Gasoline. Bidding is conducted in the Spring, with contracts in place for July 1st of each year. Contracts are currently offered as Fixed Price or, Mark-Up over Rack Price to meet each participant’s needs. The fee to participate in the program is $150 per fuel for FRCOG member communities and Schools and Non-Profit agencies within those communities. $170 per fuel is charged to non-member communities or agencies outside Franklin County. Participation in the bid does not commit any participant to contract for fuel through the FRCOG, but is an inexpensive, valuable way to explore bulk purchase pricing in a volatile market. FRCOG administers and troubleshoots the fuel contracts for all participants throughout the year.
Dog Licenses and Dog Tags
FRCOG aggregates the needs of over 50 towns for Dog License and Tags.
Any Massachusetts municipality may participate in the collective bid for dog licenses and/or dog tags. Surveys are sent out in August. Bids or Price Quotes are issued in September and received in October. Awards are issued and products are received at the end of December. Participants reimburse the FRCOG for the cost of their products and they pay a fee for the service they received. The fee is $38.
Bimonthly or Quarterly elevator maintenance and yearly inspection is offered for Franklin County public buildings which operate elevators or lifts. Currently the collective program serves 50 elevators in 25 towns, non-profits and school districts. These contracts allow for separate competitive bidding for major services, which results in lower price for basic maintenance than full service contracts. The current fee to participate in a three year contract is $60 per elevator with a maximum of $120 per entity.
Fire Alarm and Sprinkler Testing
The FRCOG conducts a 3-year collective bid for Fire Alarm and Sprinkler inspection services. Current participants total over 60 buildings and include Town Offices, Fire Stations, Libraries, Schools, Highway Garages, Water Facilities, and Police Stations. The fee to participate is $30 per building and that covers all three (3) years.
Fire Extinguisher Services
The FRCOG has expanded a bid originally conducted through HCG for Fire Extinguisher Services; including Inspection, Recharging, and Testing of Extinguishers and Ansul / Fire Suppression Systems. Current participants total approximately 26 entities with over 2,500 extinguishers, and include School Districts, multiple Municipal locations, and Non-Profit facilities. There is no fee for participation in this bid, as the awarded vendor pays a nominal quarterly Administrative Fee to FRCOG.
The FRCOG offers a standing contract for rental equipment including backhoes, bulldozers, dump trucks, loaders, excavators, wood chippers, road graders and other highway equipment for use during emergencies or when the town needs a piece of equipment to supplement during a project. All towns who participate in the Highway Collective Purchasing Program are eligible to use this contract without cost. Some agreements are for rental of equipment only, and some are rental with operator.
Fee for Service Consulting
The Chief Procurement Officer is available to public entities to complete procurements under MGL’s Ch30b; Ch30, §39M; Ch 7; Ch 25a and Ch 149. Construction and design projects can be complex, and Requests for Proposals require a named Chief Procurement Officer per the Massachusetts Inspector General. These projects are undertaken when time is available in the collective procurement schedule.