On February 11, 2016, the Board of Regents approved a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) Accreditation Program. The Program is designed to ensure that U. T. System institutions utilize contracts offered by GPOs, including Texas state agencies performing GPO functions, only if the GPOs use sourcing processes accredited by U. T. System as meeting minimum procurement standards. The approval included delegated authority to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs to determine whether any applicant for accreditation meets such standards. Program results are submitted annually to the Board of Regents.
In 2017, the Program's Operating Procedures were revised to incorporate a "value component" requirement. This component requires a GPO to meet specified quantitative or qualitative criteria to become accredited or maintain accreditation. This is intended to focus usage of GPOs on those entities that (a) have the resources and scale in the marketplace sufficient to optimize the value of master agreements they procure, or (b) otherwise meet unique needs of the institutions. This value component requirement was applied for the first time in the 2018 accreditation cycle. Before being allowed to apply for accreditation, a GPO must secure, from one or more U. T. System institutions' chief procurement officers, a nomination to the U. T. System Office of Collaborative Business Services for accreditation, supported by information indicating that the nominee meets the required value component test.
With assistance from the U. T. System Office of Collaborative Business Services, three new GPO applications were considered in the 2020 accreditation cycle. One application was rejected, and the applicant was informed of key concerns with its sourcing processes, and of its right to reapply for accreditation in the next annual cycle. Additionally, all GPOs previously accredited were reviewed, resulting in each GPO's accreditation being continued.
- Choice Partners National Purchasing Cooperative
- E&I Cooperative Services, Inc.
- Education Service Center - Region 19 (Allied States Cooperative)
- The Local Government Purchasing Cooperative d/b/a BuyBoard
- National Cooperative Purchasing Alliance (NCPA)
- Sourcewell, formerly National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA)
- Vizient, Inc.
- Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (Statewide Procurement Division) (TPASS/TXMAS)
- Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR)
- The University of Texas System Supply Chain Alliance (UTSSCA)
All accreditations will expire August 31, 2026, unless terminated earlier under U. T. System procedures.
A UT institution purchasing a high value contract or purchase order (PO) from an accredited GPO needs to comply with the GPO Contract Directives and submit a GPO Contract Submittal Form when required.