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TIPS/TAPS is a program that provides competitive pricing and terms for contracts granted to certified vendors of the TIPS program.

Overview of the TIPS Program

The Interlocal Purchasing Systems (TIPS) was founded in 2002 as “Texas Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS)”. TIPS was originated for the use in the State of Texas. In 2003, TIPS moved into Arkansas and TAPS was created to serve entities in the state of Arkansas. By 2006, Missouri had been added and other states initiated paperwork to join TIPS.

The Purpose of TIPS

  • Provide school districts and other governmental entities opportunities for greater efficiency in acquiring goods and services and more economical prices.
  • Take advantage of state-of-the-art purchasing procedures to insure the most competitive contracts.
  • Provide competitive price solicitation and bulk purchasing for multiple government entities that yields economic benefits unobtainable by individual entities.
  • Provide quick and efficient delivery of goods and services by contracting with “high performance” vendors.
  • Equalize purchasing power for smaller entities that are not able to command the best contracts for themselves.
  • Maintain credibility and confidence in business procedures by maintaining open competition for purchases, and by complying with purchasing laws and ethical business practices.
  • Assist entities in maintaining the essential controls for budget and accounting purposes.

Program Availability

On September 1, 2006, Texas Interlocal Purchasing System changed its name to The Interlocal Purchasing System so additional states could be added. TIPS and TAPS are sponsored by the Region VIII Education Service Center. The Region VIII ESC is located in Mount Pleasant, Texas. Currently, TIPS is available for use by all public and private schools, colleges, universities, cities, counties, and other government entities in the States of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

How TIPS Simplifies the Purchasing Process

Vendors certified by TIPS are granted contracts which have been competitively awarded in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas and have agreed to provide the best pricing, terms and conditions available to similar customers. Vendors and participating entities both benefit. If a vendor is successful in competing for a TIPS contract, the vendor may avoid the time and expense of participating in the competitive process for each individual participating entity. The participating entity may also avoid the time and expense of going through the competitive process. The lnterlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) is sponsored by the Region Vlll Education Service Center (ESC8) located at 2230 North Edwards, Mt. Pleasant, Texas and is governed by the Region 8 ESC Board of Directors.

TIPS Purchasing Information

TIPS Awarded Vendors have submitted proposals from a posted RFP and are competitively awarded contracts accordingly. These Awarded Vendors have agreed to provide the best pricing and terms and conditions available to TIPS Members. The TIPS Program takes PRIDE in providing a purchasing coop where Awarded Vendors and Members both benefit. With a successful award, a vendor can expedite an order for a member because all purchasing requirements are completed during the RFP process. A school district or other TIPS Member can benefit from the cost savings of time and expense in competitively bidding each purchase.

No Membership Fees for TIPS Members

Awarded Vendors agree to pay a participation fee direct from sales of TIPS Members. Any sales made to participating entities without the participation fee may disqualify the vendor as awarded by TIPS. Purchases made by TIPS Members must be identified as a TIPS Purchase on the Purchase Order. For further information about the TIPS program and commodities available, please contact 866.839.8477. Fax number: 866.839.8472 or Email:

TIPS – Oklahoma

Welcome Oklahoma School Districts to The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS). The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) is excited to offer our Cooperative Purchasing System to your state. Click here for more information about becoming a member.

If you have any questions, contact a TIPS administrator at 866.839.8477 or email to