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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 30, 2003

Contract Oversight Committee to reduce costs by more than $750,000

The Contract Oversight Committee has identified several areas for cost reductions and is currently implementing improvements estimated to save more than $750,000, or 57 percent of previous expenditures. This includes a savings of more than $500,000 for General Fund supported expenditures. The cost reductions include policy improvements in personnel advertising, contract and bid advertising, and construction document printing and distribution.

Personnel advertising expenses have been cut in half since a policy change in February. At that time, the City announced changes that would condense classified advertisements, eliminate redundant advertising, and focus on the City’s Web site as a source for open positions. Costs are projected to fall from an average of $581,934 in past years to near $267,000 during the current fiscal year, or a 54 percent reduction. Job openings still will be available in various newspapers, at City Hall, and by calling the job hotline at (816) 513-1127.

The City also has eliminated much of its print advertising for contract and bid opportunities. Utilizing the City’s Information Technology Department, an online advertising system has been developed that automatically posts all opportunities to the City’s Web site and sends a condensed form advertisement to The Pulse, the City’s contract legal publication, for those projects requiring print advertisement. Beginning Oct. 1, any contract or bid opportunity with the City can be viewed at http://www.kcmo.org/ads.nsf/ads?OpenView. The new system and policies are projected to reduce expenses from an average of $419,240 in past years to nearly $232,000 annually, or a 45 percent reduction.

The City also recently agreed to join the State of Missouri contract with US Reprographics to provide printing services and customer service associated with distributing construction documents, such as drawings and specifications.

Beginning Oct. 1, all documents for any construction bids that begin advertising after that date will only be available at any of the following US Reprographics locations:

    1814 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.

    4601 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

    9204 Nieman Road, Overland Park, Kan.

    8900 State Line Road, Leawood, Kan.

    224 N.W. Executive Way, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

    10955 Lowell Ave., Overland Park, Kan.

Documents are available at these locations in hard copy for a fee or on a non-printable compact disc for electronic viewing. The documents also will be available online to registered users at http://www.worldplanroom.com. The customer service phone number for questions or orders is (866) 411-PLAN. US Reprographics also offers delivery services. Documents will no longer be available at City facilities. Representatives of area plan rooms designated by the City are encouraged to obtain the compact discs for free viewing by contractors. It is estimated this agreement could save the City more than $250,000.

The Contract Oversight Committee also is pursuing plans to implement contract administration training for all City contract administrators early in 2004. This effort is being chaired by Dorothy Campbell of the Law Department. The training will increase efficiency and uniformity in the contracting process and continue to implement the Red Flag Commission’s mission to reduce the possibility of corruption. Details of the training program will be announced soon.

The Information Technology Department has been an essential partner to the Contract Oversight Committee in these efforts. The department’s staff has ensured a comprehensive, concise and easy to use platform for these new advertising systems and provided opportunities to publicize the changes to the public.

The Contract Oversight Committee is chaired by John Franklin, Assistant to the City Manager. Members include Dorothy Campbell, Jim Brady, Nelson Muñoz, Cecilia Abbott, and Joseph Guarino, all of the Law Department; Connie Hendrix, Aviation Department; David Buie, Parks and Recreation Department; Terry Leeds, Water Services Department; Sherri McIntyre, Public Works Department; and David Mitchell, City Manager’s Office. The Committee was created in 1997 to provide uniformity to the City’s contracting processes

    
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