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NSLP Memo #5-17: Q&A: Purchasing Goods and Services Using Cooperative Agreements, Agents, and Third-Party Services

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) recently released this Q&A: Purchasing Goods and Services Using Cooperative Agreements, Agents, and Third-Party Services.

This memorandum provides general guidance on the various procurement groups FNS has identified, how to use each group in a way that complies with Federal procurement standards, and supersedes SP 35-2012, Procuring Services of Purchasing Cooperatives, Group Purchasing Organizations, Group Buying Organizations, etc., dated June 12, 2012. This memorandum applies to all Child Nutrition Program operators.

Although participating in intergovernmental and inter-agency agreements can offer greater economy and efficiency for procurement or use of common or shared goods or services (2 CFR 200.318(e)), Program operators participating in these agreements must still conduct competitive procurement in accordance with 2 CFR Part 200.318-.326 and applicable program regulations and guidance Specifically, Program operators must ensure all:

  • Costs paid from the nonprofit food service account are necessary, reasonable, allocable, and otherwise allowable per 2 CFR 200.403 and the applicable cost principles in 2 CFR 200, subpart E.
  • Procurements are conducted in a manner maximizing full and open competition consistent with Federal procurement standards in 2 CFR 200.318-.326 and in applicable Program regulations.
  • Failure to competitively procure goods and services is a violation of Federal regulations and may result in delays, disputes, findings of noncompliance, and costs being disallowed.

Please reach out to your designated Program Specialist with any questions.

vending machines, and catering services provided by the food service program.

Related Content: NSLP and SBP State Agency Memos