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|October 28, 2003
BRIGHT IDEA #3 - Dems propose Purchasing Cards to save county money
Mineola, NY - Nassau County Majority Democrats today proposed a revolutionary new way for county departments to purchase office and other supplies that could save half a million dollars a year. By using "PURCHASING CARDS", or P Cards, County departments can expedite the entire purchasing process, a procedure that is now bogged down in prehistoric paperwork and leaves department heads with no up-to-date information on the balance of their purchasing accounts.
"It's time to move Nassau County into the 21st Century," said Nassau County Legislator Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck).
Additional cost savings will also be achieved with the implementation of DIRECT PURCHASING AGREEMENTS with major office supply companies, entitling the county to large discounts on purchases.
"With these few initiatives, Nassau County can step up its purchasing power and save money," said Altmann, "and it brings the county up to par with every other major county in this country."
Currently, the County purchases about $100 million worth of office supplies and other items each year. Now the procedure involves a lengthy chain of approval to purchase even a pencil. First the purchasing clerk of a department requests an item, then the request is channeled through a "departmental supervisor" who issues an approval. The request then must make its way through three additional departments for approval. The process produces much paperwork and takes a lot of time.
The P Cards on the other hand, will serve much like a prepaid debit card, with a fixed spending limit. The requesting department can now buy directly from a fixed list of supplies, saving time and money. The P Cards will also serve to provide a more transparent record of the procurement process and reduce the administrative effort and paperwork significantly.
"Private companies and large municipalities have been using this method of purchasing for quite some time, and I believe this initiative will continue to move Nassau forward," said Legislator Michael Zapson (D-Long Beach), chairperson of the Legislature's Finance Committee.
The Majority Democrats' proposal to change the way the county currently purchases supplies is the third BRIGHT IDEA initiative proposed by the Democrats in the past month.