The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS Purchasing Cooperative) was established in 2002 as a regional initiative of the Region 8 Education Service Center (ESC). Originally conceived as a small-scale cooperative, it has since expanded into a nationwide operation, with Region 8 ESC continuing to serve as the Lead Agency.

Region 8 ESC is one of 20 such centers in Texas, designed to aid school districts in enhancing student performance and streamlining school operations. Governed by a seven-member Board of Directors and an Executive Director, the entity has the authority to participate in interlocal cooperation and agreements with other U.S. public entities. TIPS Purchasing Cooperative is a key program under the jurisdiction of Region 8 ESC. The initiative is underpinned by strict procurement guidelines, with every TIPS contract being approved by the ESC 8 Board, ensuring vendors adhere to stringent competitive procurement processes set by both the ESC 8 administration and the TIPS legal team.

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