From the Daily News:
City Controller William Thompson has slammed the brakes on a $150 million Education Department contract that pays inflated prices to a private company for basic public school supplies.
Among the higher-than-retail prices Education Department officials agreed in January to shell out to Strategic Distribution Inc. (SDI) for custodial items are:
# $55.77 for thousands of Timex wall clocks - the kind found on every floor of every public school in the city. Drillspot.com is selling the same Timex model for $46.71.
# $233.24 for hundreds of DeWalt half-inch cordless drills for school custodians. The exact same model can be bought retail on Amazon.com for $164.49.
# $6,760 for A.O. Smith 100-gallon gas water heaters. The same model can be found at Shoptheplumbingstore.com for $4,636 - and that includes free shipping.
# $1,650 for new Oasis drinking water fountains, model FLF202PM. You can buy the fountain online from S.K. Culver Co. for only $1,529.
On average, SDI is charging 9% more for hundreds of common plumbing, electrical and building supplies than the school system would pay if it used an existing supplier contract authorized by the state's Office of General Services, Thompson said.