Feb 17, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY –
The state could realize millions of
dollars in savings if legislation passed by the House today becomes
House Bill 1410, by Rep. Jason Murphey, amends the state Central
Purchasing Act to allow DCS personnel to make better use of state
spending patterns to negotiate the best possible terms and prices for
the state. The change will also give state buyers more time for
ongoing vendor performance monitoring to ensure quality.
"The department needs to spend more time on the larger state contracts
to ensure the taxpayers are getting the best deal where the most money
is being spent," said Murphey, R-Guthrie. "By empowering certain
agencies to handle their own smaller state contracts, the department
can focus on finding savings across the board."
The bill also authorizes DCS's state purchasing director to
renegotiate existing contrasts in an attempt to get better rates for
the state. An annual report documenting savings realized by each
agency will also be required by the legislation.
The changes in HB 1410 will shift the focus of DCS from an agency that
primarily processes purchases to one that applies more strategy in
managing the state's purchasing.
"In a down budget year, it is more critical than ever to make sure our
government is as efficient as possible," said House Speaker Chris
Benge, R-Tulsa. "We owe it to the taxpayers of this state to spend
their hard-earned dollars in a responsible way while also ensuring
quality services remain available to all Oklahomans."
Murphey noted that the governor included $35 million in purchasing
savings in his budget proposal released earlier this month, which was
based on the results of hearings House Republicans held over the last
two years showing huge efficiency and savings potential in the state's
A report conducted by IBM in 2007 showed Oklahoma could realize as
much as $70 million in savings if purchasing best practices were put
in place. A second report conducted recently by a company on contract
with DCS found similar savings potential.
"There are tough budget decisions we will have to make this year, but
this bill is not one of them," said House Appropriations and Budget
Chairman Ken Miller, R-Edmond.
The legislation—which is part of the House Republican agenda to
modernize and streamline government—passed the House with a vote of
61-37 and will now move to the Senate for consideration.
Rep. Murphey with High School students from Crescent.