U.S. Communities

About U.S. Communities

How It Works


U.S. Communities aggregates the purchasing power of more than 90,000 public agencies nationwide by offering Participating Public Agencies the ability to make purchases through existing, competitively solicited contracts between a supplier and a lead public agency.

  • Each lead public agency awards its contract to a supplier after a competitive solicitation process designed to ensure that Participating Public Agencies receive the highest quality products and services at the lowest possible prices.
  • Once the lead public agency has awarded a contract with the supplier, the lead public agency allows other Participating Public Agencies in need of similar products and services to make purchases through the existing contract through U.S. Communities. This ensures that all Participating Public Agencies have access to the same terms and conditions of the existing competitively solicited contract.
  • U.S. Communities does not issue the solicitation for the contracts or participate in the bid selection process with suppliers. However, once the contract is in place it works with both the lead public agency and the supplier to ensure that the contract is administered properly through routine audits as well as additional oversight measures to ensure Participating Public Agencies are receiving the quality products and services of the highest quality and at the lowest prices.
  • Through U.S. Communities, all contracts are available to state and local government agencies, public and private K-12 school districts and higher education organizations, and nonprofit businesses.
Authority to Use

When a Lead Public Agency issues a solicitation, it contains language based on the lead jurisdiction “Joint Powers Authority” or “Cooperative Procurement” program. Applying these competitive principles satisfies the competitive bid requirements for most state and local government agencies.

State statutes and, if applicable, local ordinances generally allow one government agency to purchase from contracts competitively solicited by another government agency. This requires the consent of the supplier, the Lead Public Agency and government agency purchasing from the Lead Public Agency contract. U.S. Communities contracts are established to meet both the competitive solicitation and consent requirements. Public agencies accessing U.S. Communities consent to a Master Intergovernmental Cooperative Purchasing Agreement (MICPA).

No Cost to Use

Public agencies pay no costs and are charged no fees to participate. The suppliers pay a minimum administrative fee to participate through U.S. Communities. This pays for operating expenses and offsets costs incurred by national and state sponsors.

Best Government Pricing

U.S. Communities does not have a most favored customer requirement. Suppliers are required to match pricing lower than U.S. Communities only for agencies that would otherwise be eligible for lower pricing through another contract vehicle. This requirement ensures that agencies are offered the best government pricing through U.S. Communities. Contracts are non-exclusive and discretionary, so an agency can choose to use any contract that, in their sole discretion, is in their best interest.


Quick Start Guide

Are you registered with U.S. Communities, but need more information on the next steps to start saving with suppliers? View this detailed guide to learn more.

Quick Start Guide