Purchasing Consortium - FAQ

Purchasing Consortium


Purchasing Consortium FAQ

  • What does the acronym “CICPC” stand for?

    “CICPC” stands for “The Committee on Institutional Purchasing Consortium”, and is a collaboration of the 15 CIC Procurement Directors.
  • What is the purpose of the CICPC?

    The purpose of the CICPC is to deliver increased cost savings and service delivery to member institutions through collaborative procurement initiatives that focus on reduced pricing, improved terms and conditions, reduced risk and/or reduced process costs.
  • How is the CICPC governed?

    The CIC Procurement Directors function as the Board of Directors and are responsible for approving all procurement initiatives, award recommendations, and resulting agreements.  A Chair and Vice Chair of the CICPC each serving a three-year term are appointed by the Procurement Directors.  The CICPC operates under the auspices of the CIC.
  • How often does the CICPC meet?

    CIC Procurement Directors meet face-to-face in the Fall at a member campus and in the Spring at the Big Ten Conference Center in Rosemont, IL.  They also have monthly conference calls and actively participate on a listserv to discuss CICPC business and share best practices.
  • How does the CICPC decide which joint procurement initiatives will be pursued?

    Collaborative procurement initiatives are identified in various ways.  CIC stakeholder groups may bring forward initiatives when there are multiple willing participants who anticipate using any resulting agreement.  In other cases, the Procurement Directors or their staffs may identify opportunities based on their knowledge of common organizational needs. 
  • How does a supplier become a preferred supplier to the CICPC?

    Once it has been determined that an initiative should be undertaken, a small team is formed with a buyer from one of the member campuses functioning as lead.  This team develops a request for proposal (RFP) and distributes it to suppliers.  The team reviews the suppliers’ responses to the RFP and recommends one or more suppliers to the Procurement Directors.  The Directors then vote to determine which, if any, suppliers should be awarded the contract, stipulating primary and/or secondary suppliers as appropriate.  The CICPC then initiates a Master Agreement with the selected supplier(s).


  • Who signs the contracts?

    The Chairperson of the CICPC signs the Master Agreement on behalf of the CICPC, and the Executive Director of the CIC signs for the CIC.  In most cases a letter of intent to use the agreement is entered into between a member institution and the supplier once the Master Agreement is executed.
  • Does the CICPC keep a database of suppliers interested in receiving RFPs?

    No database of interested suppliers is maintained by the CICPC.