NYS Office of General Services (OGS) -
A Full-Service Provider for Libraries
- Commodities Contracts
- Service Contracts
- Technology Contracts
- State Procurement Services
The Office of General Services (OGS) performs a wide variety of functions for State agencies throughout New York State. Some of these services, such as the establishment of centralized procurement contracts, are available to non-State agencies, including authorized public, school and many other libraries.
Because OGS contracts are competitively bid, using them to purchase commodities, services or technology saves libraries the time and expense involved to bid, award, process and administer contracts. OGS contracts combine the needs of many agencies to leverage the State's buying power and secure the most competitive pricing. Audits performed by the Office of the State Comptroller consistently show that OGS contracts save end users from 10 to 40 percent of average marketplace purchase prices.
OGS uses a competitive bidding system, taking into consideration:
- the reliability of the bidder,
- the qualities of the articles or services proposed to be supplied,
- their conformity with the specifications,
- the purpose for which the product or service is required and
- the terms of delivery.
OGS has formed a new library advisory group dedicated to the development of procurement initiatives which will assist libraries in their purchasing. General information about OGS contracts for services, commodities and technology can be found below; information about specific contracts can be found by visiting the OGS State Contracts Database.
OGS Commodity Contracts
OGS commodity contracts are handled by the OGS Standards & Purchase Group (S&P), which establishes contracts for thousands of varieties of materials, equipment and supplies, including an extensive contract for books and periodicals. The contracts are competitively bid to secure the lowest possible prices, and most are available for use by libraries throughout the State. These contracts cover such commodities as:
Copying Machines: OGS contracts for copying machines offer many different brands and models, providing the end user with a selection in the areas of speed, capacity and available options. OGS ranks bids and makes awards based on the lowest average annual cost, which is determined by a formula factoring in the purchase price, supplies and maintenance for either three or five years. Copier supply prices for contract items are bid in conjunction with these awards and are available for up to three years. OGS also establishes separate contracts for various brands of copier supplies.
Office Supplies: The OGS office supply contract includes many items which are traditionally ordered from a standard office supply catalog. The contract is awarded by district to multiple vendors, allowing libraries to choose the company best suited to their needs while taking a variety of factors into consideration, such as the pricing, geographical location of the company and the availability of electronic ordering.
Industrial Supplies: A new contract for industrial supplies has a similar design, but the products include items such as hand and power tools, paints, lubricants, electrical supplies and much more.
Books and Periodicals: The OGS contract for books offers a wide range of library, school and text books from a number of major book distributors. Associated services, such as cataloguing and re-binding, are available from some of the contractors. The OGS contract for periodicals was created to provide academic, health sciences, law, municipal and school libraries with a broad spectrum of domestic and foreign serials, periodicals and magazines.
Furniture: Furniture items are also available from OGS contracts at very competitive pricing, including landscape office furniture, wood desks and tables, and acoustical screens and panels.
Paper: OGS paper contracts include a very competitively priced award for copier paper, available in white and colors, as well as other commonly used office papers. OGS closely monitors and frequently re-bids the office paper contracts to ensure the lowest possible pricing. Paper prices are particularly responsive to OGS's ability to combine the needs of multiple users to maximize volume discounts. Other paper products available through OGS contract are computer paper , toilet tissue and paper towels.
Some of the other items available from OGS contracts are:
- Fans and air conditioners
- Vacuum and carpet cleaners
- Lawnmowers and weed trimmers
OGS Service Contracts
Service contracts are handled by the OGS Services & Technology Group (S&T), which was created in 1994 to develop new and innovative processes in contracting for services and technology on a centralized basis. S&T contracts for many different service contracts in the areas of building services, office/human services and travel.
OGS brings more than 30 years of experience as the "landlord" for State facilities to its development of contracts in the area of building services. Some of the service contracts established by OGS Services & Technology utilize the mini-bid process, which involves two steps: first OGS establishes a pool of prequalified vendors who are able to perform specific services in certain areas of the State, and then OGS provides that information to interested State and local agencies, who solicit bids from companies in their geographic areas to meet individual project requirements.
Building Services: A popular mini-bid contract for facilities is Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which provides for comprehensive, structural pest control while minimizing the use of pesticides. OGS carefully qualifies multiple vendors for each region, reviewing the companies' actual IPM work records to guarantee their ability to provide quality work. The contract for Electrical Switchgear Testing, also a mini-bid, addresses fire safety, while an elevator maintenance contract provides for a comprehensive, full service maintenance contract for elevator, escalator and dumbwaiter service on a regional basis.
OGS service contracts which are final contracts (not mini-bids) include Building Commissioning, or the process of verifying and documenting that a building meets its design intent and the owner's operational needs. A Guard Service contract provides for unarmed guards for the protection of various buildings and grounds, while a Carpet Installation contract is for use in conjunction with the OGS commodity contract for carpeting, which offers a variety of carpet grades and styles at very competitive pricing.
Office Services: In the area of office services, OGS has a contract for Overnight Mail, offering prices which are approximately 50 percent of the standard list pricing. The new contract, which is scheduled to begin in September 1996, will include the options of ground delivery and overnight delivery by 10:00 a.m. The upcoming contract for temporary office personnel, also planned for September, will contain eleven titles, including secretaries, clerks, a receptionist, paralegal, PC installer and accountant. A contract for Hearing Reporter and Transcription Service has options for both in-house transcribers and the transcription of audio-taped meeting minutes.
Drug and Alcohol Testing: A contract for Drug and Alcohol Testing was established to help agencies with staff holding commercial drivers' licenses to comply with the Omnibus Transportation Act of 1991.
Other OGS service contracts regularly established are for Bottled Water, Lodging and Car Rentals. Future contracts will include additional travel contracts, database access services, technology advisory services and initiatives identified by the recently established OGS library advisory group.
OGS Technology Contracts
As the central contracting unit for New York State's service and technology needs, OGS establishes contracts for a wide variety of computer and telecommunications hardware, software, and services. Technology contracts are handled by the OGS Services & Technology Group (S&T), which was created in 1994 to develop new and innovative processes in contracting for services and technology on a centralized basis. S&T contracts for a diverse selection of telecommunication, microcomputer and office automation items.
Printers: OGS also has contracts in place for most major brands of printers and printing systems, which include dot matrix, laser, band and line printers.
Networks: In early 1995 OGS began establishing contracts for networking hardware and software. These contracts include such services as maintenance, training and support.
Telecommunications: In the telecommunications area, OGS maintains contracts for data communications equipment, dial modems, key systems and telephone equipment, and interactive voice response systems. OGS also has contracts for cellular telephone service, incoming *800* number services, and paging services.
Software: OGS has established license agreements for the most popular brands of microcomputer software which cover the developers' entire product lines. "Shrinkwrap" contracts, which include license, media and documentation, are also available for other popular microcomputer software. Contracts are in place for some client-server and mini/mainframe software and many others are in development.
Technology Advisory Services: OGS maintains an advisory service contract designed to assist using agencies in making technology procurement decisions. Contracts are also in place for computer consulting and training. These contracts require that the using agency draft a project definition and conduct a mini-bid process. Questions specifically concerning these contracts should be addressed to Sylvia Casper at 518-473-8079.
In the future, OGS plans to establish a new contract for database access services and to add a personal computer installer to the temporary office personnel contract.
Libraries interested in using OGS contracts may use the following points of contact:
Standards & Purchase Group (S&P)
(for all commodities except computer/technology)
Phone: (518) 474-6717
Fax: (518) 474-2437
Services & Technology Group (S&T)
(for computer/technology & service contracts)
Phone (518) 486-6868
Fax (518) 486-6867