Move Continues County’s Drive to Pursue Shared Services Savings
Kingston, NY (March 1, 2010) - Currently, municipalities in New York are authorized to purchase from each others contracts; however, with no centralized database system for contracts in the Hudson Valley and no funds with which to promote and market the benefits of Cooperative Purchasing to local elected officials, the practical capacity to accomplish this on a significant scale is hindered.
In an effort to address this challenge and continue Ulster County’s ongoing pursuit of shared savings opportunities, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein announced today his intent to join with Duchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland counties in applying for a $200,000 New York State Department of State Local Government Efficiency Grant. The grant would be used for the purchase and implementation of Competitive Bidding software. The software would not only create an online database of group contracts, specifications and vendor information, it also would aggregate group purchasing for the best possible volume discount pricing. A portion of the funds would also be used to reach out to local government officials to make them aware of the system and encourage them to use it. The grant requires a 10% local match ($4000) and the County Executive will seek authorization for the matching funds from the County Legislature at their next regular meeting.
“This project is part of my administration’s ongoing effort to pursue every opportunity to save taxpayer’s money. This initiative will make it make it possible for us pool our efforts and secure equal or better goods and services, at a lower price. It will also help us get the message out to our local community governments so that they can take advantage of the savings as well. Ultimately, we all work for the same taxpayers and sharing our information, resources and expertise will help us serve them much more efficiently,” said County Executive Hein. The faltering national and state economies have put added pressure on local governments to be more efficient in spending taxpayer dollars. The proposed Cooperative Purchasing Project will expand the use of cooperative purchasing in the Hudson Valley and provide the following benefits to local governments who participate:
• Lower Prices/Pooled Negotiating Power
• Lower Transaction Costs
• Reduced Advertising Costs
• Reduced Workload
• Adoption of Best in Class Practices
• Higher Quality of Goods and Services
• Lower Supply Risks
Robin Peruso, Director of Ulster County Purchasing said, “This is a great opportunity for Counties to pool our buying power and to share that cost savings information with our local municipalities. Spending taxpayer dollars in the most efficient manner is what Purchasing Departments are charged with and we have to continually find ways to lower costs of goods and services.”