Magazine article Government Finance Review

County of Los Angeles' Document-Processing Services Partnership

Magazine article Government Finance Review

County of Los Angeles' Document-Processing Services Partnership

Article excerpt

Lean fiscal times have, in many cases, transformed public/private partnerships from a novelty to a necessity. Jurisdictions are increasingly exploring progressive and mutually beneficial agreements to harness the resources and business savvy within the private sector and adapt those programs and processes into tools that will enable the delivery of more effective and efficient public services.

In accord with this evolution, the Country of Los Angeles and Xerox Corporation have pioneered an approach that restructures the public-sector procurement process with a comprehensive equipment and services purchase agreement. At its most basic level, this document-processing services partnership involves a commitment by Xerox to provide specified document processing equipment, products and services to the county at volume-discount rates. Such an arrangement is not uncommon; however, the agreement between the county and the corporation builds on the basic concept to magnify its provisions and benefits.

The arrangement allows the county to act as a supplies broker to other jurisdictions, enabling them to share in the savings produced by the partnership. Political jurisdictions in Los Angeles County and other government entities in the State of California are eligible to participate in the purchase agreement. By participating they enjoy other benefits, namely; product-testing services, expedited processing of procurement requests and financial expertise. Using this cost-effective procurement solution, smaller government entities can avail themselves of the bargaining power that the County of Los Angeles has created through its budget of $12 billion and employee base of more than 88,000.

Through this agreement, the county acts as a virtual service bureau to other jurisdictions, in most cases providing them enormous cost savings through volume discounts, and relieving them of the necessity to expend considerable time and resources on procurement and competitive-bidding processing, since the county agreement effectively preapproves the vendor.

The entire enjoys expanded business activity and vitality, and the taxpayers benefit through cost-effective purchasing on the part of the county and other participating jurisdictions. For its role, the county receives a credit from the corporation to offset the cost of these services and operations. While this credit is nominal per product, in aggregate it could represent a revenue source for the county.

In addition to offering a reliable supply of products and services at volume discounts, Xerox has made other commitments under the agreement. …

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