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Go after discounts

June 28, 2012
The Leader Herald

The state comptroller's office recently announced that state agencies wasted $1.7 million of taxpayer money when failing to seek discounts on contracts.

We're not sure why those working in state agencies have wasted nearly $2 million, but various opinions might point to bureaucracy, apathy or lack of skill. Maybe it's the "we've always done it this way" attitude that is quickly becoming dangerous in a world where state governments can't afford to flush money down the toilet.

We wonder how many private companies would stay afloat wasting millions.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said many vendors offer discounts when agencies pay invoices within a month or 15 days.

Here are a few examples: Supplemental Health Care provides a discount of 5 percent if invoices are paid within 30 days. Worldwide Travel Staffing Limited gives a 2 percent discount if the bills are paid within 30 days and 4 percent if the money is received within 15 days.

The comptroller contacted 20 agencies that were using contracts for personnel service that offer cash discounts. Of those agencies, 19 of them were not even aware the discounts were available.

What's more, the vendors examined did not include the terms of the discount on their invoices. This makes us wonder why certain vendors are willing to take advantage of taxpayers.

It's interesting that state lawmakers are constantly seeking cuts in services and schools used by taxpayers. While the taxpayer sits at home clipping coupons and Internet surfing for savings, some state agencies apparently don't feel the need to put the same type of effort into saving money.

Remember, it's not their money - it's yours.



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