to Dept. Encouraging "Buy Alaska"
October 25, 2003
The pilot, authorized in House Bill 313, of which McGuire was the sponsor, exempts the Department of Administration (DOA), and a private firm yet to be selected, from the State's procurement code. The pilot is an effort to study the state's "back office" business processes potentially saving the state millions of dollars in administrative costs.
In the last several weeks McGuire's office has received numerous letters and phone calls from media outlets, union leaders, business groups, and concerned citizens critical of what was perceived as the Department's direction in implementing the pilot. Initially, DOA was considering the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Southeast goods and services purchasing and DOT Central construction as the first phase of the pilot. Since that time, DOT has done an internal audit that revealed complicated restrictions attached to federal highway dollars, which in turn, made the inclusion of DOT Central construction unworkable as a component of the first phase of the pilot project.
In the letter to Miller, McGuire states, "Over the last several weeks you have no doubt seen the press coverage and opinion/editorial pieces regarding the potential size and scope of the project. However, it is unlikely that you have heard the conversations my staff and I have been privy to" and goes on further to add "In the course of these discussions I have expressed my greatest confidence in Department of Administration's discretion to make judicious decisions that would ultimately guarantee a successful pilot while protecting Alaska business." McGuire concludes her concerns to the commissioner by saying "In short, I hope it is clear that pilot project or not, the State of Alaska buys Alaska.
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