Cost-Saving Ideas: Using State Contracts to Acquire Goods or Services

In the procurement process, your goal is to obtain goods and services that are both high in quality and low in cost. However, achieving this goal can take considerable time and effort through research, solicitation and negotiation. And it may not always result in the savings you were looking for.

As an easy alternative, you can purchase goods and services under an existing State contract. This allows you to capitalize on the State's buying power and expertise, which may result in lower prices and better quality goods and services.

Many of the State contracts provide necessities for any local government or school district, such as awards for road salt and fuels, vehicles and heavy equipment, food and furniture, computer hardware and software, and much more.

Benefits of Using State Contracts

You can save upwards of 40 percent on average purchase prices by taking advantage of State contracts. Even better, because State contracts meet the competitive bidding requirements of General Municipal Law, they are always available to you for any type of purchase.

This can help you:

  • Reduce or eliminate the time required to prepare bid specifications;
  • Enhance and simplify the purchase process;
  • Minimize the time required to identify responsible vendors;
  • Benefit from the competition of many bidders seeking large volume contracts; and
  • Help avoid certain controversies that may arise during the competitive bidding process.

The Costs of Not Using State Contracts

Some of our audits of local governments have shown how important it is to not overlook the use of State contracts.

Purchases of plow trucks
One audit revealed that 32 of 70 local governments could have saved $706,000, collectively, if they had used State contracts to purchase plow trucks. Our office found localities using State contracts paid as much as $30,000 less than localities that purchased comparable trucks through their own bidding process.

Purchases of fuel
In another audit, we found that 10 local governments spent a total of about $1.6 million on vehicle and facilities fuels and could have saved about $97,500, or almost 6 percent, by using State contracts. An additional 74 local governments were paying in excess of State contract prices for at least one type of fuel and could have saved an additional $103,000 in total if they had used State contracts.

Don’t make the same mistake—always explore the cost-savings potential of using a State contract in the procurement process.

Access to State Contracts

The Office of General Services (OGS) awards contracts for a vast array of goods and services that are available for local governments and school districts.

You can view OGS contracts on its website at, or register to receive email notices on contracts at

You may place orders directly with the contractors listed for the items or services using your own locality or school's purchase order. And you may use the majority of State contracts as soon as they are awarded.

Additional Information

For more information on using State contracts and/or to request the Index of OGS Contracts— a comprehensive, alphabetical listing of all available State contracts—contact:

Office of General Services Procurement Services Group
Telephone: (518) 474-6717
Email: [email protected]

Updated 2016