Change in TUSD purchasing practice pays $477,000 bonus

2014-02-07T00:00:00Z 2014-07-17T14:27:40Z Change in TUSD purchasing practice pays $477,000 bonusBy Alexis Huicochea Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Tucson Unified School District will receive nearly a half-million dollars in rebate funds — money that will go into TUSD’s general fund.

The rebate of more than $477,000 is the result of a program that uses purchasing cards to pay the district’s bills, said TUSD spokeswoman Cara Rene.

The P-Card program, approved by the Governing Board last March, helps state and local government agencies, public schools and municipalities  combine their purchasing power to increase rebates. The rebate will be presented to the board at its Feb. 11 meeting.

Kevin Startt, TUSD’s purchasing director, credits a team effort for the program’s success and is pleased the district implemented changes and cashed in on the rebate plan so quickly.

“In this day and age, where funding is limited, we need to look for revenue streams anywhere we can find them,” Startt said. “As a public organization, it’s the job of the financial area and the procurement area to find ways to save the district money and do things as financially efficiently as possible.”

While many organizations use purchasing cards for individual expenses like travel, equipment and basic supplies, TUSD has used it to pay large invoices for utilities, technology services and office supplies.

The P-Card system has also saved the district the hard and soft costs associated with check-writing, an estimated $252,000.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@azstarnet.com or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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