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Suffolk County Executive Bellone Announces Major Government Reform Initiative

LongIsland.com

Shared Services Portal Will Enhance Efficiency and Save Taxpayer Dollars Among Participating Local Governments.

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

Photo by: Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, via Flickr

Suffolk County, NY - February 12, 2019 - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced the launch of the SuffolkSHARE Municipal Purchasing Portal to facilitate collaborative purchasing among local governments throughout Suffolk County. The Portal, which is now live, has 92 governments signed up as partners with over 300 municipal employees expected to register and participate in a comprehensive two-day portal training on February 13-14.
 
The SuffolkSHARE Municipal Purchasing Portal is Suffolk’s latest offering under New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s shared services initiative. Suffolk County’s shared services program is one of the most comprehensive programs in the state of New York and is expected to save tens of millions of dollars each year once fully built out.
 
“With the launch of this portal we are doing more than just talking about finding innovative ways to foster collaboration and create savings for taxpayers, we are doing it,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “Now there is a central hub for municipalities to compare the costs of goods and services and collaborate to realize actual saving for their constituents.”
 
Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said, “We can all agree that collaborating with other municipalities to save taxpayers money is just common sense. SuffolkShare will help save our staff hours of work and create more opportunity to generate savings for Riverhead. I look forward to the savings that Riverhead will see because of this new partnership.”
 
Dr. Jim Malatras, President of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, said: “Shared services is transforming how local governments operate in the state and nowhere is that more exciting to watch than in Suffolk County. Under the leadership of County Executive Bellone, localities are not just talking about using new tools to shop and save, they’re actually doing it. As New York State continues to modernize municipal functions, SuffolkSHARE offers a real vision of procurement and taxpayer savings in the coming years.”
 
The portal is a key component of the County Executive’s SuffolkSHARE program developed as an outgrowth and in response to the Governor’s shared services initiative launch in 2017.  Suffolk County’s shared services program is one of the most comprehensive programs in the state of New York and is expected to saving tens of millions of dollars each year when it is fully operational. 
 
While the Suffolk County SuffolkSHARE program was announced in late 2017, New York State amended the shared services initiative law allowing counties to re-craft and update their programs for 2019.  Suffolk County took advantage of that additional time to work through the challenges facing new programs such as this.  With the launch of the SuffolkSHARE portal, Suffolk County is now working with its municipal partners throughout the county and state to realize taxpayers savings on the procurement of goods and services.
 
The multi-functioning web portal is designed to assist local governments with the facilitation and management of purchases of goods and services between municipalities and the private sector.  It will also enable municipalities to share information about the services they perform and shop for the services they need. A number of shared services will be accessible through this portal, including recycling services, marine equipment, street sweepers, road resurfacing crews, senior and youth health care and emergency management. Municipalities will also find the web portal to provide them with a virtual marketplace, the capability to upload contracts and licenses, an inter-municipal agreements listing, municipal communication forums, cooperative procurement functionality, and powerful data analytics tools to identify strategic purchasing opportunities.
 
The Suffolk County Shared Services Plan, known as SuffolkSHARE, is a comprehensive 10-point plan that provides a modern inter-municipal framework among participating municipalities to enhance service offerings and improve the ability for local governments to collaborate, implement and augment their programs and initiatives. The plan includes design of the SuffolkSHARE Municipal Purchasing Portal, establishing an intra-county procurement consortium, offering an assortment of inter-municipal services with participating municipalities, and providing a certification function to identify and quantify savings achieved by the use of the shared services program.  SuffolkSHARE has been designed to transition inter-municipal partnerships from an ago-old, ad-hoc approach into a modern and comprehensive government reform mechanism.