The state of Georgia has an order of precedence for purchasing goods and services. This order, established by the State Purchasing Division (SPD), ensures that all businesses have an equal opportunity to do business with the state.

To comply with state procurement laws, agencies must purchase goods and services based on four predetermined tiers. These four tiers are:

  • Tier One: Mandatory Statewide Contracts—You must use these contracts unless SPD grants you a waiver.
  • Tier Two: Existing Agency Contracts—If the goods or services you’re looking for are not available in tier one, then you must use contracts in tier two. If what you need to purchase is not available within these contracts and you need to deviate from them, you must get documented approval by your Agency Procurement Officer (APO) or College/University Procurement Officer (CUPO).
  • Tier Three: Statutory Sources Designated as Mandatory—State entities are required by statute to purchase certain products and services from the Georgia Correctional Industries Administration (GCI) and Georgia Enterprises for Products and Services (GEPS).
  • Tier Four: Other Sources—If you or the APO/CUPO cannot purchase what you need using Tier 1, 2, or 3, then you may pursue any of the options available in Tier 4. This tier consists of convenience statewide contracts, GEPS preferred products, SPD approved piggyback purchases, cooperative purchasing following public notice, and open market purchases.

When you need to purchase a good or service, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Is the good or service that you need exempt from the State Purchasing Act?
  2. Can the goods or services be purchased using an existing contract or established and approved source?
  3. Is special approval necessary?

To learn more about the Order of Precedence, refer to the Georgia Procurement Manual (GPM), Section 1.3.