A cost-effective solution
The goal of the Cooperative purchasing system (CPS) is to reduce operating expenses and the cost of certain products and services. Through bulk buying, school service centres and school boards on the Island of Montreal achieve substantial savings.
The CPS policy (available in French only) provides full details about the CPS, as follows:
- Legal basis
- General framework
- Role of Purchasing committee
- Functions of the Comité de gestion
- How to join
- Calls for tenders
- Choosing suppliers
- Duration and renewal of contracts
- Annual report
With annual purchases totalling some $15 million and more than 20% saved each year, this program has achieved significant results, with savings reinvested in direct services to students. For details about the benefits and savings of this program, see the 2019-2020 annual report (available in French only).
The three school service centres and two school boards on the Island of Montréal and the Comité de gestion are the principal members of the Cooperative purchasing system, although certain other educational institutions, such as colleges, CEGEPs, and private schools, may also choose to participate.
A representative of each participating organization sits on the Purchasing committee. The committee’s major activities are consultation, sharing experiences and expertise, considering ways to improve the system, following up on calls for tenders, studying bids, and choosing suppliers.
Meeting the needs of partners
The Purchasing committee oversees the calls for tenders and contract renewals for the following categories of products and services:
- Printing paper
- Toilet paper and paper towels
- Garbage bags
- Light bulbs and lamp ballasts
- Cleaning products and supplies
- Air filters
- Computer supplies
- Heating oil
- Office supplies
- Printed envelopes
- Art supplies
- Travel agencies – student travel
- Educational toys and games
- Sports material and equipment
- Work uniforms and safety equipment
- School and office equipment
- Library supplies
- Winter carpets
Almost all of these purchases are made via a public tendering process.
Administration of the CPS
The Comité de gestion’s activities related to the Cooperative purchasing system are of two types:
- Budget management
- Collection of income and payment of expenses
- Hiring of consultants
- Complaint follow-up
- Production of analytical and statistical reports
- Production of annual report
- Leadership and coordination of purchasing committee
- Technical opinions
- Quality control
- Awarding and management of contracts
- Establishment of procedures, standards, and policies
- Training and information
- Research and development
Simple to join
School service centres and school boards
The school service centres and school boards on the Island of Montreal must join the Cooperative purchasing system by May 31 each year. Their membership is then effective for the period covered by the calls for tenders for the categories of products and services of interest to them.
Other organizations wishing to join the Cooperative purchasing system for a given school year must sign an agreement of participation with the Comité de gestion by May 31. Their membership is then conditional on the approval of the agreement by the Comité de gestion; once their membership has been confirmed, it becomes effective for the period covered by the calls for tenders for the categories of products and services of interest to them.