By Eden Laikin
In an effort to save tax dollars, the Nassau and Suffolk County governments have formed a consortium to purchase goods and services cooperatively, and therefore cheaper, announced Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
This consortium, known as the Long Island Purchasing Council (LIPC), will allow the counties, their respective towns, villages, cities and school districts to join on certain orders or bids and opt out of others. Current plans call for the first orders to be for paper, sewage treatment and agriculture chemicals – commodities that cost each county millions of dollars.
Both County Legislatures passed bills for the formation of the LIPC and both the Suffolk and Nassau County Executives signed agreements to utilize the Council. LIPC’s first official meeting will take place on Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. in Hauppauge. At that time, board members will be appointed to oversee the Council. Other municipalities will be invited to join at a later date.
Nassau’s Purchasing Director Michael Schlenoff and County Executive Ed Mangano’s representative, Eden Laikin, will be appointed to the LIPC Board of Directors. Laikin is Nassau’s Director of Governmental Research. Once formed, the board will discuss other possible commodities or services, common to both counties and the smaller governments within, on which to bid. These include products such as auto supplies for county vehicles and various forms of energy. The reduction or elimination of duplicative administrative functions will also be discussed as possible areas for savings. A website will be developed detailing pending bids, how to join and what savings have already been documented.
Dutchess, Rockland and Ulster Counties already have a similar purchasing consortium. Since its formation in 2002, more than 30 municipalities and school districts have joined.