Friday, February 13, 2009

Governor Rell orders $21M in state contract savings

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she is canceling a number of state contracts for goods and services that will save Connecticut taxpayers more than $21.3million for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
Governor Rell announced Jan. 21 that she had directed all state agencies to review their contracts and recommend terminating any that could not be considered vital.
“State government has hundreds and hundreds of contracts for goods and services, many of them for items that are nice to have but not essential to our daily job,” Governor Rell said. “Services such as car washes, giveaways like magnets and pens, niceties like magazine subscriptions and luxuries such as new office furniture are simply not affordable at a time when our budget shortfall grows every day and taxpayers are wondering how they will make their own paychecks stretch from month to month.
“We continue to review these contracts and look for additional ways to pare state spending,” the Governor said. “We are also looking at contracts for personal services – contracts with individuals – and intend to find savings there as well. Even when we cannot cancel a contract altogether we are putting strict limits on ordering. When a service or product is essential we are going back to contractors and asking for concessions. Taxpayers deserve to know that we are saving every penny we can and getting the best deal possible on the money we do spend.
“We are doing what any family would do in similar circumstances,” Governor Rell said. “Expenses like club memberships, vacations and new cars would be cut. Groceries would be pared back to the basics – more hot dogs, less steak. Thermostats would be set a little lower and car trips combined to save gasoline. State government must do the same.”
The state plans to cancel or dramatically scale back purchasing on such items as:

Passenger Cars, saving $5,149,897
Digital Postage Equipment, Supplies and Services, saving $1,065,327
Promotional Products, saving $381,834
Uniforms (other than contractually required), saving $259,259
Athletic Equipment (not including playground equipment), saving $304,300
Office Furniture, Metal, Wood, Chairs (non-systems furniture), saving $1,247,393
Systems Furniture, Freestanding Partitions, Technical Computer LAN Furniture, saving $933,516
Classroom/School Furniture, saving $347,466
Rental and Pre-Owned Office Furniture, saving $255,765
Car Wash & Detail Service, saving $14,210
Purchase, Repair & Maintenance of Musical Instruments, saving $57,707
Outside Legal Services for Underground Storage Tank Cleanup, saving $39,583
Magazine Subscriptions, saving $40,248
In addition, the state is working to renegotiate or rebid almost $1.8 billion in contracts reached through DAS and a further $31.5 million in contracts for the Department of Information Technology. Even a 1 percent savings on these agreements could save Connecticut taxpayers a net $18.1 million.


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