South Carolina

South Carolina

Title 11 Public Finance
Chapter 35 South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code

§ 11-35-4810. Definitions of terms used in this article

As used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise: 

(1) "Cooperative purchasing" means procurement conducted by, or on behalf of, more than one public procurement unit, or by a public procurement unit with an external procurement activity. 
(2) "External procurement activity" means: 
        (a) any buying organization not located in this State which would qualify as a public procurement unit; 
        (b) buying by the United States government. 
(3) "Local public procurement unit" means any political subdivision or unit thereof which expends public funds for the procurement of supplies, services, or construction. 
(5) "Public procurement unit" means either a local public procurement unit or a state public procurement unit. 
(6) "State public procurement unit" means the offices of the chief procurement officers and any other purchasing agency of this State.

S.C. Code § 11-35-4810. Cooperative purchasing authorized.

 (1) Any public procurement unit may participate in, sponsor, conduct, or administer a cooperative purchasing agreement for the procurement of any supplies, services, technology information, or construction with one or more public procurement units in accordance with an agreement entered into between the participants. Such cooperative purchasing may include, but is not limited to, joint or multi-party contracts between public procurement units and open-ended state public procurement unit contracts which shall be made available to local public procurement units, except as provided in Section 11-35-4820 or except as may otherwise be limited by the appropriate chief procurement officer.

(2) Without limiting other requirements of this code, all cooperative purchasing with other states conducted under this article must be through contracts awarded through full and open competition, including use of source selection methods substantially equivalent to those specified in Article 5 and, as applicable, Article 9 of this code, and consistent with the requirements of Section 11-35-2730 (Assuring Competition).

(3) The offices of the chief procurement officers, and any other purchasing agency of this State, may participate in cooperative purchasing as provided in Section 11-35-4810(1) only if the appropriate chief procurement officer determines in writing: (i) that participation is in the interest of the State, (ii) that the procurement will conform to subsection (2), if applicable, and (iii) that any entities responsible for the management and administration of the procurement, other than another state's central procurement office, have in place appropriate and adequate internal controls to provide safeguards for the maintenance of a procurement system of quality and integrity with clearly defined rules for ethical behavior on the part of all persons engaged in the public procurement process. In making his determination, the chief procurement officer shall evaluate and consider the impact on South Carolina businesses.

(4) Thirty days' prior notice of a proposed multistate solicitation must be provided in accordance with Section 11-35-1520(3). Supplies acquired pursuant to such contracts may be distributed only through vendors with an in-state office, as defined in Section 11-35-1524(A)(6), when available; provided, however, that the provisions of this paragraph do not apply to public institutions of higher learning if the institution demonstrates a cost savings to the appropriate chief procurement officer in regard to the multistate solicitation and procurement.