In August 2007, the state signed a contract with printing and mailing giant Pitney Bowes. It’s a contract worth $37 million per year. Rob Wynkoop, Deputy Commissioner of Procurement for the Department of Administration, said the state has saved money.
“Since the inception of the contract in August of 2007, we’ve saved 4.9 million dollars,” said Wynkoop.
However, the state can’t readily back up that dollar figure with documentation . . .
The state also can't explain why, if the printing service done by private company Pitney Bowes is so good for taxpayers, the BMV hasn't steered their way. Also, why does the Hoosier Lottery put its money elsewhere? Why do state lawmakers vote against using it? . . .
“Clearly this is a contract that, in this particular interest, is favoring
the contractor. It’s really kind of a sweetheart deal,” said Vaughn.
How sweet? The state has had to pay more than $723,000 since the start of the contract to Pitney Bowes for work never assigned. That's because the contract requires Pitney Bowes to be paid $37 million even if they don't do $37 million worth of work.
When state agencies don't use Pitney Bowes it means less work and triggers the reconciliation fees.
After nearly two years, state officials say they are finally working to reduce those extra fees paid for work not assigned.
I-Team 8’s Karen Hensel asked, “Would part of it fix it if you brought in some of these other state agencies who say ‘No, we're going to go off and do our own thing?’” Wynkoop answered, “We are absolutely doing that. And that's how you fix the reconciliation.”
Hensel points out in her report that the state paid over $34,000 to build out office space for Pitney Bowes to use in a state government building and picks up all of their operating expenses (computers, phones, etc.). The Department refused to grant Hensel and a WISH-TV film crew access into the office space occupied by Pitney Bowes. A Department of Administration spokesperson acknowledged that no other contractor receives this sort of favored treatment. The state paid a consulting fee of $120,000 for the work of Jay Pirtle to prepare a report for the Department of Administration upon which it relied in putting together the contract with Pitney Bowes.