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State auditor looking at Office Depot deals again

Posted October 28, 2008

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— The Office of the State Auditor, which recently alleged Office Depot had overcharged under a state contract, announced Tuesday that it is investigating a national contract under which North Carolina school districts, community and four-year colleges and some local governments and state agencies buy supplies.

A non-profit organization called the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance has the contract, Auditor Leslie W. Merritt Jr. said. State government spends about $3 million annually under it, he said. Local governments spend about $2 million.

U.S. Communities describes itself as "a national purchasing forum for local and state government agencies, school districts (K-12), higher education and non-profits nationwide by pooling the purchasing power of over 87,000 public agencies."

“We are going to look into the U.S. Communities Office Depot contract as it relates to state agencies. We are publicly announcing this audit so that municipal and county governments that have piggybacked on this contract can begin to examine whether they are getting the benefit that they bargained for,” Merritt said in announcing the review.

Last month, Merritt's office said it had found overcharges under an Office Depot contract with the state purchasing agency. That audit examined six months of purchases and identified $294,413 in net overcharges through direct testing of purchase orders.

“There are many local governments and school systems who are currently operating under a contract with Office Depot. Managers should call their purchasing departments to double check that taxpayers and students are getting the price breaks specified under the contract,” Merritt said.



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  • luke Oct 28, 2008

    Something needs to be done about wasteful spending at every level of government.If we ran our household budgets the way various government agencies ran theirs, we'd all be flat broke!!

  • jr1brown Oct 28, 2008

    pbjbeach: I know you got fired from the NCDOT, however you might actually have something useful to say if you knew how to write a complete sentence and use punctuation. Maybe that's why you got fired???

  • pbjbeach Oct 28, 2008

    The auditors office needs to be looking into the spendeing of taxpayers funds within the ncdot an the cost associsted with the amount of contracting made use of during the last past eight years an how these cost related to the enforcement of the ncdot speceficiations for highway & structures thank you