CalSave uses national leverage to seek best pricing on its purchasing contracts. As a participating member of the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA) , CalSave works with educational purchasing cooperatives in 26 other states. The states work together in drafting specifications and estimating buying volume. They issue a joint solicitation for competitive bids. Together they do an initial screening of responsive bids. Then each agency —including the Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) — makes its own independent, state-level determination of lowest responsible, responsive bidders before making a local contract award. In California, awards are made by MCOE based on the application of California law.