Program: Laboratory services

Appropriation:

Interdepartmental Grants:

$392,100

 

Federal Funds:

$3,411,100

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$3,131,300

 

GF/GP:

$6,392,200

 

Total:

$13,326,700[32]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds laboratory services for the department.  The Bureau of Laboratories includes a Division of Chemistry of Toxicology and a Division of Infectious Diseases, as well as a Quality Assurance Section. It supports regional laboratories in Houghton, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Saginaw. Funding for the bureau covers staff and contracts, supplies and travel for lab testing and identification of infectious disease agents. This program collects epidemiological data and tests blood samples children screened for lead.  It also funds a bio-terrorism response team and studies Lyme disease.

Recommended Action:

The state should outsource its laboratory functions if economically feasible.  Many private, for-profit laboratories exist and routinely perform laboratory analysis for all levels of government.  Nicole Haskins, project scientist at LabSeek, Inc., a for-profit corporation that describes itself as “a convenient one-stop source for laboratory outsourcing,” reports that average savings in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent for outsourced state laboratory services are the norm.  For purpose of calculating the potential savings from contracting laboratory services, we will use 15 percent.  Savings:  $1,999,005.