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 user 2008-04-29 at 1:06:55 pm Views: 115
  • #19460

    Auditor says Nebraska being overcharged for office supplies
    YORK – A national office supply company has been overcharging the state
    of Nebraska since winning an exclusive $3 million contract in 2005, the
    state auditor said Monday.The contract with Office Depot Inc. lets
    state agencies buy office supplies at a negotiated discount.But since
    the contract started in June 2005, State Auditor Mike Foley said, the
    state has been overcharged up to 400 percent on some items, although he
    said he can’t estimate how much the errors cost.”Once they won the
    contract, they just started sending invoices and thinking nobody would
    check,” Foley said. “Who’s going to keep track of a pair of scissors or
    a roll of toilet paper?”

    Office Depot has cooperated with the
    state on the audit, according to a statement provided Monday by Jason
    Shockley, Office Depot’s manager of public relations.”We are currently
    reviewing Mr. Foley’s report in an effort to determine the bases for
    his conclusions,” the statement said. “We intend to provide a more
    comprehensive response upon completion of our review.”

    The company’s headquarters is in Delray Beach, Fla.
    state started investigating because of reported problems in Georgia,
    North Carolina and California.Georgia discontinued its state contract
    with Office Depot in February because of pricing errors, according to a
    letter from that state’s Department of Administrative Services.
    North Carolina, an audit in 2007 showed the state division in charge of
    contracts and purchasing had done an inadequate job of monitoring its
    office supplies vendors, including Office Depot. The state was
    reimbursed for some errors after the audit.

    Foley said Nebraska
    is seeking new bids for the contract.One example of overcharges he gave
    was staples: They should have cost the state 21 cents per package, but
    the charge was $1.06.Some of the errors may seem small, Foley said, but
    they add up.
    He said the University of Nebraska has hired a private
    investigative firm to review a separate, $3.3 million contract with
    Office Depot.