Legislator's Concerns to Lead to Thousands in Cost Savings


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Contact: State Rep. Jason Murphey

Office: (405) 557-7350

 

State Rep. Bobby Cleveland

Office: (405) 557-7308

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (DOC) is set to realize potential cost savings as a result of the state's response to concerns raised by State Rep. Bobby Cleveland.

In today's meeting of the Government Modernization Committee, Oklahoma State Purchasing Director Ferris Barger told committee members that central purchasing officials are asking for a re-issuance of DOC purchasing contracts previously awarded by the State Use Committee.

The department shared concerns about the contracts with Cleveland, who used the occasion of a February Government Modernization purchasing hearing to share the issue with Barger. Following the February hearing Barger instituted the review and confirmed Cleveland's findings.

“You can’t find these types of savings by sitting behind a desk at the state Capitol,” said Cleveland, R-Slaughterville. “I was able to learn about these costly expenditures by going out and touring prisons. The reissuance will save the Department of Corrections thousands of dollars. It’s an easy fix that came about after I took the time to step away from the Capitol and into the correctional centers across our state.” 

Barger said the re-issuance is expected to lower costs by 30 to 40 percent and provide thousands in savings.

In today's hearing, Barger told committee members that the state plans to institute new policies to ensure Use Committee contracts stay closer to market rates.

He also said that state officials could potentially institute claw-back provisions on behalf of the state agencies that are required to abide by Use Committee contracts.

"Today's hearing demonstrates the importance of legislators acting on the information they receive. Rep. Cleveland's example shows that meaningful cost savings result when legislators take their oversight responsibilities seriously," explained committee Chairman Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie.

"This also demonstrates the willingness of state purchasing and other shared services officials to respond straightaway to legislative oversight and savings opportunities."