NIGP stands for the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. It adopted “NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement” as its market identity in 2011. The list of NIGP Commodity and Services Codes is used by different state and local government agencies in North America for classifying products and services during the procurement process.

What are NIGP Codes?

NIGP Commodity and Services Codes, when used with suitable procurement software, make public procurement programs more efficient. This taxonomy has now become the standard coding system used to classify products and services in more than 30 states in the United States, as well as a significant number of local bodies in North America.

Agencies use NIGP Codes for different purposes, which include, but do not limit to:

  • Grouping suppliers according to preset categories
  • Identifying and tracking specific items of inventory
  • Carrying out open-market bidding/solicitation
  • Keeping track of purchase and spend history
  • Generating reports used for analysis
  • Registering, maintaining, and purging supplier files

NIGP codes follow a structured 3-digit, 5-digit, 7-digit, and 11-digit hierarchical system.

  • 3-digit class codes come with brief descriptions. This level has a total of over 270 classes, which include products and services.
  • 5-digit class-item codes are basically expanded versions of 3-digit class codes, and offer more than 8,700 descriptions. Vendors are categorized by class-item.
  • 7-digit class-item-group codes offer an added level of purchase description, giving you more than 8,700 descriptions. You may use them when developing specification files.
  • 11-digit class-item-group-detail codes are typically used for creating, maintaining, and managing term contracts of line-items. This level comes with more than 250,000 descriptions.

Organization in Charge of NIGP Codes

Periscope Holdings, Inc. was appointed by NIGP as the NIGP Code’s custodian in 2001. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, this firm is responsible for licensing, publishing releases of new versions, overseeing requests for code changes, training, communicating with end users, providing phone support, as well as offering commodity coding services.

History of NIGP Codes

The development of this classification system was the result of efforts put in by public procurement officials from different states in the U.S., some of which included Texas, Florida, Illinois, and Oklahoma. The movement was spearheaded by Homer Forrestor, the then Director of General Services in Texas.

The initial codeset was produced in 1983. The copyright was transferred to NIGP and it released the code’s first version in 1984. Now, the NIGP Code has over 1,400 government users.

Example Codes

Here are a few examples of 11-digit NIGP Codes.

  • 425-21-85-1404
  • 425-21-85-1453
  • 425-21-85-5553

The first three digits refer to the class (Furniture: Office).

The second set of two digits denotes the class-item (Desks and tables, wood).

The third set of two digits identifies the class-item-group (Tables, wood, conference, contemporary, laminated plastic top, paneled-leg style).

The last four digits, with the code in its entirety, refer to a unique class-item-group-detail. The examples in question are for the following products.

  • 425-21-85-1404 – 60 inches X 30 inches, with center drawer, mahogany finish
  • 425-21-85-1453 – 60 inches X 30 inches, with center drawer, lacquer walnut finish
  • 425-21-85-5553 – 60 inches X 30 inches, without center drawer, mahogany finish