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

The procurement process goal is to obtain goods and services that are both high in quality and low in cost. The time and effort spent researching, soliciting and negotiating to obtain goods and services may not always result in the anticipated savings. Local government and school district officials can purchase goods and services under existing State contracts to reduce duplicative contracting efforts and potentially save time and money.

State contracts can provide many necessities for local governments and school districts like road salt, fuel, vehicles, heavy equipment, food, furniture, computer hardware and software, and much more. Goods and service contracts fall into three general categories: commodities, service and technology. Capitalizing on the State's buying power and expertise may result in lower prices and better quality goods and services.

Benefits of Using State Contracts

In addition to potentially saving money, State contracts meet the competitive bidding requirements of New York State General Municipal Law. As a result, local governments and school districts have assurance that the necessary research, solicitation and negotiation has been done.

State contracts can help your local government or school district:

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

The Costs of Not Using State Contracts

During recent audits, we identified instances where local governments and school districts paid higher costs because State contracts were not used. For example:

  • A town paid $19,866 more for diesel fuel;
  • A town overpaid more than $4,600 for gasoline;
  • A fire district could have saved $3,805 when purchasing propane;
  • A school district paid almost $2,000 more for milk during a three-month period; and
  • A charter school paid $1,400 more for office supplies.

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 local government 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 2020