Per today’s N&O, it appears one of the planks in Gov. Perdue’s “consolidation plan” to be unveiled next week will include shifting the responsibilities of procuring basic goods and services for state agencies to a private company.
A state audit released Tuesday concluded that the N.C. Department of Administration is doing a poor job of managing an Internet-based procurement system that is supposed to save money through the use of established government contracts for basic goods and services.
An example is the multiple state contracts for recycled printer toner cartridges. Auditors found that there were at least 24 products with multiple vendors and different prices, costing the state at least $12,500 by not making all the purchases from the lowest-priced vendor.
In addition, many agencies were buying new toner cartridges at $120.65 under one approved state contract rather than buying the cheaper remanufactured ones for $28.37, wasting at least $41,211 on purchases of that item, according to the audit.
The audit reveals what is obvious to most observers: someone spending their own money would have done due diligence to find, for example, toner at the much lower price; but state employees are spending other people’s money so there is very little incentive for them to be frugal.