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August 2001

Delphi Question: Custodial Services Revisited

Delphi Question #477 (received 23 May):

I'm writing because a question published in the May 2001 issue of Staff Notes Monthly appeared to be unaddressed in the official response. The questioner wrote, "How much do we really save by contracting out custodial services? Please factor in the cost of 'managing' the contractor, as we've had to do rather extensively all along and propose to do even more now."

I thought the question was very clear. But the official response failed to answer it.

Surely, someone in this organization quantified the difference between the old in-house custodial costs (adjusted for inflation) and those associated with the contracted service. Otherwise, the decision to eliminate the former for the latter would never have been made. I would appreciate it if our organization provided a more complete and appropriate response to Delphi Question #469.

Response (29 June):

As reflected in our earlier answer, a cursory analysis shows that the dollar savings and efficiencies gained by using contracted services are considerable, including the UCAR management overhead. It is difficult to assign specific dollar and efficiency savings, given that the space occupied has grown significantly and, therefore, the work for the custodial staff has also. Turnover in this function is high, so we would also have to estimate the cost of hiring and training personnel, a cost now borne by the contractor. Given that a detailed analysis would be difficult and definitely not cost effective, we stand by our decision to contract out custodial services.

—Katy Schmoll, vice president Finance and Administration

Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be submitted in confidence to the coordinator, Janet Evans (ext. 1114, ML room 517). They should be submitted in written form, preferably via interoffice mail in a sealed envelope marked confidential; they must be signed. Detailed procedures for submitting questions are given in the UCAR Policies and Procedures Manual, section 4-1-2. Questions and answers of general interest to staff are submitted to Staff Notes Monthly by Janet. They may be edited for publication. For more information, including links to questions and answers published in Staff Notes Monthly and a log of all questions submitted since 1995, see the Delphi Service Web page.

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UCAR > Communications > Staff Notes Monthly > August 2001 Search

Edited by David Hosansky, hosansky@ucar.edu
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Wed Aug 8 15:59:34 MDT 2001