COSTARS Purchasing Program
The COSTARS program leverages procurement contracts established by the PA Department of General Services (DGS) and utilizes competitive pricing strategies to achieve the best value for member organizations. Through the COSTARS program, local government members are provided with the option to participate in cooperative purchasing opportunities for products and services such as:
IT hardware and software, office supplies, voting systems, energy conservation management supplies, street lighting, signage, toiletries, uniforms, emergency responder vehicles, water and wastewater treatment products, pest control services and more
Participation in any COSTARS purchasing opportunity is voluntary. For more information, please contact the PA Department of General Services (DGS) Bureau of Procurement at 866.768.7827 or visit the COSTARS website.
Eligibility Information for Local Governments
All of the following are considered to be “local public procurement units (LPPUs)” eligible to participate in the COSTARS program:
- Any political subdivision, municipality, school district or commission
- Any public authority
- Any nonprofit fire company, rescue company or ambulance company
- Any tax-exempt, nonprofit educational institution or organization
- Any tax-exempt, nonprofit public health institution or organization
- Any other entity that spends public funds for the procurement of supplies, services and construction (such as a council of governments or an organization that receives public grant funds)
The PA Department of General Services (DGS) reserves the right to review and determine eligible applicants on a case-by-case basis.
Registration Information for Local Governments
Local governments in Pennsylvania may register with the PA Department of General Services (DGS) to participate in the COSTARS program. Eligible registrants will receive an approval letter from DGS (typically within one week of registering), as well as a member ID number for participation in the COSTARS program.
Please be aware that local public procurement units (LPPUs) will not be permitted to register more than once. To determine if your organization has already registered, please access the COSTARS Member Search, and share your organization’s member ID number with other staff within your organization.
Additional Procurement Resources for Local Governments
- DCED’s Purchasing Handbook for Local Government Officials
- PA Department of General Services (DGS) Bureau of Supplies and Surplus Operations
- Local Government Unit Debt Act Information and Resources
- Private entities such as fire, ambulance and rescue organizations should refer to applicable charters, by-laws or other policies and/or consult with boards of directors or legal counsel for further guidance on procurement requirements.