Public entities often enter into contracts to purchase supplies based upon the prices offered by the vendor on those supplies. When the supplies are actually purchased, the public entity should confirm that the prices charged by the vendor match the prices offered by the vendor when the original contract was signed.

Allegations have been made in other states that vendors switched government customers from one pricing plan to another plan without the customers’ full understanding or knowledge. In the past, the Florida and Missouri Attorneys General entered into settlements resolving allegations of overcharging by Office Depot for office supplies sold to governmental entities. More recently, the State of Washington announced a $4 million settlement agreement with an imaging vendor for overcharges on digital imaging equipment. Comparing the contract prices with the actual prices charged will help prevent overpayments.

Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 09/07/2012