The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Performance Audit of the State's Practices for Purchasing Microcomputer Equipment Administered by the Department of Management Services , Report No. 94-39, March 1995

  • The microcomputer state term contract allows state agencies, local governments, and school boards to obtain relatively economical prices for microcomputer equipment, but it does not maximize potential savings. Factors that limit the state's ability to obtain the lowest prices include rapid changes in the microcomputer market, which makes it difficult for a long-term contract to match short-term price and product changes. In addition, the current contract has been awarded to 17 vendors who each offer a different brand of equipment; this limits the state's ability to obtain volume discounts because agency purchases are divided among the different vendors.
  • Other states have successfully used different strategies to buy microcomputer equipment. Notably, California has contracted with a vendor to operate a "computer store" that agencies may visit to compare equipment and prices. Also, several states have made their state term contracts non-mandatory, which enables agencies to buy equipment from other vendors when they can obtain a lower price.

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