NIGP Commodity/Services Code
Industry Government procurement, Training, Procurement software, Data Services
Headquarters Austin, TX
Key people John Walters, President, NIGP Code Services
Products NIGP Code
NIGP Living Code
NIGP Coding Service
NIGP Code Bootcamp
NIGP Code Reference Books

The NIGP Commodity/Services Code is an acronym for the National Institute of Governmental Purchasings Commodity Services Code. The NIGP Code is a coding taxonomy used primarily to classify products and services procured by state and local governments in the United States.

The classification system was developed in the mid 1980s as a result of efforts by public procurement officials in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Illinois and other states, cities and counties to provide a mechanism to classify the products and services that used in public procurement. Led by Homer Forrestor, the Director of General Services in Texas, the group produced the initial codeset in 1983.

The copyright for the data file was transferred to the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP)and the NIGP Code was born. The NIGP Code is now the standard taxonomy for classifying vendors and spend data for 33 states and thousands of local entities within North America.

NIGP appointed Periscope Holdings, Inc., as the custodian of the NIGP Code in 2001. The firm is responsible for licensing, overseeing code change requests, publication of version releases, communication with end users, phone support, training, integrity of the codeset, and commodity coding services for the conversion of contract and inventory files.

The NIGP Code is most commonly used to classify vendors and to track spend data for use in strategic sourcing and spending analysis. The database is often incorporated into the procurement software utilized by the entity for use in e-procurement. The NIGP Code currently exists in English and Spanish versions. Cross references have been created for the NAICS, UNSPSC and MCC codesets. Version 21 is the current release.


NIGP Code structure

The NIGP Code is structured as follows:[1]

3-Digit Class Code The 3-Digit class Code has a brief general description. This level contains 212 Commodity (Product) Classes and 55 Service Classes totaling 267 Classes. The 3-Digit Code is primarily used to generate periodic expenditure history by department for fiscal planning, budget execution, and accounting.

5-Digit Class-Item Code The 5-Digit class-item Code is an expanded version of the 3-Digit class Code. Currently, it contains over 8,200 descriptions. This level categorizes vendors by class-item to allow your procurement software to automate bidder selection, produce no-bid response reports, vendor performance reports, and minority business and HUB reports by Code. Purchase history can be captured at this level as well.

7-Digit Class-Item-Group Code The 7-Digit Code provides an additional level of purchase description. It contains over 36,000 descriptions. It can be used to develop a specification file and is used with the 11-Digit Code to create a comprehensive purchase description.

11-Digit Class-Item-Group-Detail Code The 11-Digit Code is generally used to create, manage, and maintain line-item term contracts. It is also used to identify stock items in inventory. This level of the Code currently contains over 485,000 descriptions which provides a great amount of flexibility when creating contracts and tracking inventory.

Code Structure Sample Code Sample Description
3-Digit (Class) Code 620 Office Supplies: Erasers, Inks, Leads, Pens, Pencils, etc.
5-Digit (Class-Item) Code 620-80 Pens (General Writing Types): Ball Point, Nylon Tip, etc.
7-Digit (Class-Item-Group) Code 620-80-21 Pens, Ball Point, Retractable, Refillable, All Plastic Barrel W/Metal Pocket Clip
11-Digit (Class-Item-Group-Detail) Code 620-80-21-035-4 Fine Point, Black Ink, 12/Box
620-80-21-045-3 Fine Point, Blue Ink, 12/Box
620-80-21-065-1 Fine Point, Green Ink, 12/Box
620-80-21-075-0 Fine Point, Red Ink, 12/Box

NIGP Code access

The NIGP Code can be accessed in several ways. The most common is via the NIGP Code web search tool, the NIGP Living Code, which hosts a search engine for the Code for end users. The site also has a download section, which provides for end user download of the entire codeset or modifications to the codeset since the last download by the user. The download file can be formatted as an Excel, tab-delimited or csv file. In addition, the Code is available via printed format in the Alphabetical Index Book and the Class Item Index. NB: the link is dead.

NIGP Code maintenance

Maintenance and additions/clarifications to the Code come from three primary sources: codes generated by direct customer requests, codes identified as part of coding services, and codes identified from seated working groups. Additions/clarifications at the 3 and 5 digit level are typically processed within 24 hours. Code requests targeted at the 7 and 11 digit levels typically are processed within 2–3 days, although codes can be generated within 24 hours under certain circumstances.

Updates to the Code are published weekly to the site for download by users. Codes requested directly from users are typically delivered via extract files to the user, with general release of the new codes in the weekly website update.

Environmentally certified codes

The current working group for the NIGP Code is for "green" commodity/services codes. The need for these type codes was identified in the 2nd quarter of 2008 and the working group was seated in June. The approach for environmentally certified products and services was researched and a final survey of users was executed in October 2008. Rollout began in January 2009.

The result of this effort was the creation of environmentally certified classes of NIGP Codes. These classes indicate the products/services are "environmentally certified products by an agency accepted certification entity." This provides the end user with the flexibility to define the acceptable certification entity as per their procurement terms and conditions and provides a mechanism for reporting based on the environmentally certified commodities and services. See the GoPro magazine article Planting the Seeds for a Green Code for additional information.



  1. ^ NIGP Code sample, NIGP Code sample

See also

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