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June 18, 2012

 

DiNapoli: State Lost An Estimated $1.7 Million By Not Claiming Cash Discounts

New York state agencies failed to obtain cash discounts on contracts, wasting up to $1.7 million, according to three reports released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"If an agency gets a discount for paying invoices on time, the agency owes it to taxpayers to take that discount," DiNapoli said. "There is no excuse for ignoring cost savings. The state's buying power should always be used to its best advantage to reduce government costs."

DiNapoli's reports concluded that agencies were often unaware of the discount terms of their contracts and have failed to take procurement discounts since 2007. In response, DiNapoli recently issued guidance to agencies and is calling on the Office of General Services to improve its contract oversight.

The vendors, Supplemental Health Care and Worldwide Travel Staffing Limited, offer agencies a 5 percent discount and 2 percent discount, respectively, when the agency pays an invoice within 30 days. Worldwide Travel Staffing Limited also agreed to give agencies a 4 percent discount when they pay an invoice within 15 days.

DiNapoli's auditors contacted 20 agencies that were using centralized contracts for temporary personnel service offering cash discounts. They found that 19 of those agencies were not aware that cash discounts were available. The Comptroller conducted in-depth examinations at three of those agencies and found that:

  • None of the three agencies have taken the discounts since the inception of their contracts with Supplemental Health Care and Worldwide Travel Staffing Limited.
  • The vendors did not include the discount terms on their invoices.
  • The agencies made an estimated $210,000 in unnecessary payments since November, 2007. They were:
    • Department of Health $142,647
    • Office of Children and Family Services $ 35,729
    • Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance $ 31,283

Based on those findings, auditors further reviewed all active centralized contracts offering cash discounts and estimated that, statewide, as much as $1.7 million in unnecessary payments have been made since November 2007.

For a copy of the report on the Department of Health, go to: http://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/bse201100351.pdf

For a copy of the report on the Office of Children and Family Services, go to: http://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/bse201100352.pdf

For a copy of the report on the Office of Temporary Disability and Assistance, go to:
http://osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/bse201100353.pdf

For the Comptroller's Guidance go to: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/agencies/guide/MyWebHelp/Content/Chapter%20XII%20Expenditures/XII.6%20Unique%20Payment%20Situations/6.%20TApplying%20Cash%20Discounts.htm

If you have any questions, or would like a comment from the Comptroller's press office regarding these reports, please call the press office at 518-474-4015, or send an email to the OSC Press Office.



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