Cooperative Contracts - Blanket Exemptions

If, for any reason, a state agency wants to procure an item available from DIR's Cooperative Contracts program through an avenue other than a DIR contract, the agency must first obtain an exemption from DIR.

Before requesting an exemption, review the list of current blanket exemptions to determine if there one that applies to the IT commodity you wish to procure. (Under certain circumstances, DIR may have already determined that it is reasonable to grant a blanket exemption to all state agencies.)

Should your state agency decide to proceed with an IT product or service procurement under a blanket exemption, the procurement must be made in accordance with the exact scope, terms, and requirements specified in the Blanket Exemptions listed below.

Blanket Exemption List

Click on each blanket exemption below to learn specific important details.

Emergency Procurement Exemption

State agencies are granted an exemption from the requirement to purchase IT commodities through a DIR contract if a situation arises in which compliance with TGC 2157.068 and/or 1 TAC 212 is impractical or contrary to the public interest, and an Emergency Procurement is warranted to prevent a hazard to life, health, safety, welfare, or property or to avoid undue additional cost to the state. The scope and duration of the purchases shall not exceed the duration of the emergency.

Critical Need Exemption

State agencies are granted an exemption from the requirement to purchase IT commodities through a DIR contract if an unforeseeable circumstance occurs that requires immediate attention, but does not qualify as an Emergency Procurement as defined in 1 TAC 212. This exemption is for procurements not to exceed $1,500 and that are necessary to restore operation or to correct severely impaired operations due to an equipment failure.

TIBH Set-Aside Exemption

State agencies are granted an exemption from the requirement to purchase IT commodities through a DIR contract if those commodity IT items are offered in the TIBH Industries, Inc. catalog and designated by the Texas Workforce Commission as a product that is set aside from competitive bidding and offered through a DIR cooperative contract.

Minimum Threshold Procurements

State agencies are granted an exemption from the requirement to purchase IT commodities through a DIR contract for procurements not to exceed $1,000.

Commodity Item exceeding $1 Million – Exemption effective 09/01/2015

State agencies are granted an exemption from the requirement to purchase through a DIR contract when purchasing commodity products and/or services when the value of the contract exceeds $1 million.   

Please note:
The Cooperative Contracts and Data Center Services programs are governed by separate government code, and therefore have unique exemption requirements. Agencies within the DCS program are required to have approved DCS exemptions in addition to any exemptions that may be needed or may have already been approved through the DIR Cooperative Contracts program.

Computer/Office Equipment, Accessories and Consumables Exemption through 08/31/2017

State agencies are granted an exemption for the procurement of Computer/Office Accessories and Consumables for the specific IT Commodity codes listed below:

204, 206 – Refurbished Computer and Accessories

207-30 – Compact Disks, DVD, ROM, etc.

207-42 – Diskettes, Disk Packs, Floppy Diskettes, Labels, etc.

207-72 – Printer Accessories and Supplies: Chemicals, Forms Tractors, Inks and Cartridges, Paper, Label Sheets, Sheet Feeders, Toner Cartridges Wheels, etc.

207-79 – Recycled Computer Accessories and Supplies

207-87 – Tapes, Tape Cartridges, Tape Cassettes, Tape Reels, Tape Labels, etc.

610-56 – Ribbons, Computer and Data Processing, All Types (For Tab See 610-73)

610-63 – Ribbons, Teleprinter and Teletype, All Types

838 – Refurbished Telephones

Radio Tower Rental or Lease Exemption through 08/31/2017

State agencies are granted an exemption for the rental or lease of radio towers only. This exemption is valid for the IT Commodity codes listed below:

985-69 – Radio and Telecommunications Equipment and Accessory Rental or Lease (Including Radio Towers)

Software Maintenance Exemption through 08/31/2017

State agencies are granted an exemption for the procurement of software maintenance, if the software maintenance is proprietary or is not available from one of the contracted vendors. State agencies are advised to check the website prior to the purchase, as DIR adds new software titles on a regular basis. This exemption is valid for the IT Commodity codes listed below:

920-45 – Software Maintenance/Support

Training Services Exemption through 08/31/2017

State agencies are granted an exemption for the procurement of training services, if the training is not available from one of the contracted vendors listed on the DIR Training website. State agencies are advised to check the website prior to the procurement, as the training vendors may add new training course titles on a regular basis. This exemption is valid for the IT Commodity codes listed below:

920-91 – Training, Computer Based (Software Supported)

924-40 – Instructor-led Classroom Training (Including Technical)

Publication - Subscription Services Exemptions through 08/31/2017

Electronic Publications, Database or Library Subscription service not offered under any current DIR contract for class code 715-35, 915-51, 956-35, 920-02,920-03 or 920-46.

Job Posting Services Exemptions through 08/31/2017

Internet job posting not offered under any current DIR contract for class code 915-51.

Accessibility-Related Commodity Items and Services Exemption through 12/31/2016

State agencies are granted an exemption for Assistive Technology Hardware, Software, and Related Services as set forth below. This exemption is valid only when the product or service does not exist on a DIR contract and is for the use and benefit of consumers or staff that are blind or visually impaired. This exemption will include licenses for assistive software if the Publisher is not listed on a DIR contract. Examples of exempt items include, but are not limited to:

  1. Assistive software – Jaws, Kurzweil, Zoomtext, MaGic, Duxbury, SuperNovas, and other screen magnification and reading, speech input, and voice recognition interface, and/or with Braille support.
  2. Hardware products – Deaf Blind communicators, Diabetic voice meters and talking BP cuffs, talking cash registers and weight scales, voice activated alarms, hearing devices, video cameras and hand held magnifiers, assistive CCTV’s, Braille Displays and embossers, and assistive note takers.
  3. Assistive services – Services for evaluating and training consumers. Services under this exemption work in coordination with assistive hardware and software falling under this exemption.

The specific IT Commodity codes for this exemption are listed below:

204-all items – Computer hardware and peripherals for microcomputers

207-10, 207-30 – Computer Accessories and Supplies

208-all items – Computer Software for Microcomputers (Preprogrammed)

465-07 – Hospital and surgical equipment, instruments and supplies

470-all items – Hospital, nursing home or residential specialized equipment for the handicapped and disabled

475-29 – Diabetes Test Kits (Including Syringes)

600-14, 600-30 – Office machines, equipment and accessories

710-09 – Alarm Systems (For the Hearing Impaired)

710-73 – Hearing Devices (See 710-72 for Hearing Aids)

710-92 – Reading Devices (For the Vision Impaired)

726-13 – Radio communication equipment, accessories and supplies

780-18 – Bathroom Scales

839-84 – Telephone equipment, accessories and supplies

840-70, 840-84 – Television equipment and accessories

952-90 – Training and Instruction (For Clients, Not Staff)


One-Time Exemption Request

If a blanket exemption does not exist, or if the scope, terms, and requirements of an existing blanket exemption do not meet your agency’s needs, then your state agency must request a one-time exemption by completing and submitting an Exemption Request Form. Learn more about requesting a One-Time Exemption.