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CFO Sink Calls for Common-Sense Waste Cutting: Stop Buying Paper Clips

1/26/2010

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CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today called on state government to stop purchasing any non-mission critical office supplies, an effort that could save the state more than $14 million a year. In her own department, CFO Sink today put a stop to purchasing non-mission critical office supplies for the rest of the fiscal year, a move that’s estimated to cut spending by at least 30 percent, or over $200,000 in taxpayer savings.
 
“As Florida’s CFO, I have searched for ways large and small to cut waste and run government more efficiently – remembering that the nickel and dime savings add up,” said CFO Sink. “State government should be more accountable to Florida’s taxpayers, more like a business, and no business would be buying extra office supplies when there isn’t enough money to provide essential services.”
 
Last year, CFO Sink formed a task force to inventory office supplies and find ways to reduce costs as soon as possible. The task force found that not only could the department implement a moratorium, but certain purchases could potentially be stemmed for years through better sharing of supplies. For example, the department inventoried 537 pounds of paper clips, 37,601 binder clips, and 17,425 pens.
 
To utilize these supplies, CFO Sink has implemented an interoffice website, dubbed the “CFO Depot,” designed to encourage employee sharing through website posts.  Employees can post excess items, make requests for supplies, or claim available items through the click of a mouse.
 
“On behalf of the taxpayers and all those who depend on the critical services provided by the state, I commend CFO Alex Sink for taking this approach, which is so bold and aggressive for government and yet so logical and sensible for working families, seniors, and business-owners large and small,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. “The problem with common sense is that it’s all too uncommon.  Focusing resources on the government’s core mission, the critical services, and those programs that assist Florida’s most vulnerable citizens is exactly what all elected leaders should be doing.”
 
The agency-wide moratorium issued today will be in effect until the end of the current fiscal year, with a formal review by CFO Sink’s task force after 90 days. Exceptions will be made for purchases of mission critical items as determined on a case-by-case basis by Division Directors.
 
According to the Florida Legislature’s newly launched Transparency Florida website, the State of Florida spent $46,923,814.87 on consumable office supplies last fiscal year. If the entire state also cut office supply purchases by 30 percent, savings would amount to over $14 million.  CFO Sink will be sending a letter to all agency heads detailing how her agency will be achieving these savings and calling on them to replicate these cost cutting steps.