Thursday, June 16, 2011

Toner Crime from Down Under: "40 years Worth of Toner purchased" - MpS, OMG, LOL!!!

In the, "Gee, MPS is a really good fit for Public Sector" file, a story of back room shenanigans, intrigue, gift giving and 40 years worth of toner from our friends in Australia and a place called Arts Victoria.

Well, it ain't toner bombs from the Middle East, its a bit more fun.

Odd as it may seem, a number of Purchasers in Australia have been caught, allegedly, paying 4 times the going rate for toner cartridges and receiving 'gift cards' in return.(No way!)

Cut right out of the report from the Victorian Ombudsmen:

"Ricoh CL7000 printer

In June 2003, Arts Victoria purchased a Ricoh CL7000, black/white and colour printer. The purchase of this printer included a service contract with Ricoh
Australia (Ricoh).

OfficeMax, the approved supplier under the State Purchase Contract, do not supply toner cartridges for a Ricoh CL7000 printer. OfficeMax advises purchasing officers to purchase toner cartridges for this printer from Ricoh.

The Ricoh service contract included:

• regular servicing
black toner cartridges free of charge
• colour toner cartridges at a set price of $342 each. In January 2004,

Ricoh reduced the price of colour cartridges for this printer to $263 each.

My officers received advice from Ricoh that the price of $263 per unit for colour toner cartridges for a Ricoh CL7000 printer was available to Arts Victoria and remained until May 2010."

I know what you're thinking, "wait...Ricoh is supplying black toner cartridges for free?"

More tomfoolery, no doubt.

The report continues:

"...Project Officer bought 16 black and 43 colour cartridges from Ricoh between approximately 2003 and 2009, at a cost of $11,309.

She also started buying cartridges separately from a Victorian company in 2006. Between February 2006 and August 2009, she bought 55 black cartridges for between $799 and $899 a unit, despite the fact these were free under the Ricoh deal.

She also paid $57,814.90 over the period for colour cartridges, which would otherwise have cost $19,462 from Ricoh..."

"40 years of toner..."
Also, it seems the offending Arts Victoria  "... came under fire after it was revealed to have bought 40 years' worth of replacement printer toner cartridges for a Ricoh printer, even though the cartridges had a shelf life of two years..."

Again, out of the Ombudsmen report,

"...My investigation identified a number of purchasing officers who had used public money inappropriately in the purchase of toner cartridges from The Company by:

• Purchasing toner cartridges at inflated prices. In one instance the already inflated unit price of a toner cartridge quoted by The Company increased by a further $202 per unit from $167 to $369 over a five month period. Throughout this period, OfficeMax toner cartridges cost $99.

• Purchasing toner cartridges that were not required. For example, one officer purchased enough black toner cartridges to supply the government department for 40 years. Toner cartridges expire after 24 months.

• Splitting invoices. For example, my officers identified a purchasing officer who requested that an order from The Company be split into four invoices to ensure the total amount of each invoice would not trigger further inquiry..."

40 years worth of toner...really, you can't make this stuff up...

Click to email me. 


  1. Funny, but not really

  2. Yes, Jesse -

    Not funny.

    But, because you feel its not funny, you make it even funnier to me!

    Which of course, is not funny...

  3. Being in the public sector and in the middle of writing an MPS RFP, this... just makes me shake my head.

    What I love about the article is that the person in charge makes no bones about the fact that she took gifts because she was in a financially strapped position.

    Well, you were also in a morally strapped position as well sweetheart.