A Council of Governments (COG) is a voluntary association formed to promote intergovernmental communications and cooperation.
A COG is not another level of government. It is a continuing association of governments without legislative or taxing power. Members are able to remain in a COG while not always participating in every COG project or service.
The first Intergovernmental Cooperation Act was adopted in 1943 by the General Assembly. In 1972 the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act was amended (Act 180) and used the same language as the Pennsylvania Constitution: “A municipality… may… cooperate… or agree in the exercise of any function, power or responsibility with… one or more… municipalities…” In 1986 the Act was amended to recognize COGs as eligible to apply for state grants/financial aid.
Councils of Governments are becoming increasingly popular as local governments become aware of the necessity of joint purchasing and action in dealing with mutual problems, and also of the federal and state funding available to such organizations. In addition, COG’s are flexible, politically responsible and do not threaten the local autonomy of member governments.
The objective of Central Keystone COG is to pool resources to more efficiently administer services for residents and municipalities, thereby providing services that would not otherwise be economically practical.