Program: Laboratory services administration

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$557,300

 

Special Revenue Funds:

$2,542,500

 

GF/GP:

$2,859,200

 

Total:

$5,959,000[4]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the administration costs of a Lansing-based laboratory that analyzes environmental samples for nearly all of the DEQ’s environmental programs.

Recommended Action:

We recommend that the state seek competitive bids for the services now being performed by the laboratory aervices administration.  Accurate analyses of water, air and soil samples are crucial both to protect public health and as a guide in resource management decisions. While we do not question the competency of lab personnel, a strong case can be made for outsourcing these lab functions. Competitive bidding would likely reduce lab costs while also spurring efficiency and innovation in testing procedures.  According to Nicole Haskins, project scientist at LabSeek, Inc., a for-profit corporation that bills itself as “a convenient one-stop source for laboratory outsourcing,” savings in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent can be achieved by outsourcing state laboratory services.  For purposes of estimating savings, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy will use a figure of 15 percent.  Savings: $893,850.