OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Joe M. Allbaugh instituted a purchasing freeze Wednesday, the latest action in ODOC's response to expected cuts to its Fiscal Year 2018 state appropriations.
The purchasing freeze, which comes after a hiring freeze enacted last week, is effective immediately. It restricts agency purchases to essential products and services, such as inmates' food, medical care, and janitorial supplies. Other purchases, such as vehicles or computers, will require the Director's approval.
ODOC enacted the hiring and purchasing freezes after the failure last week of the Step Up Oklahoma proposal in the State House of Representatives. Budget cuts to all state agencies are expected after the state Senate and House passed HB1020XX on Wednesday.
"This freeze is part of our continuing efforts to be frugal and find efficiencies in our operations as we plan for these cuts," Allbaugh said. "DOC has always prided itself on operating efficiently, and we will continue looking for ways to remain good stewards of our state's resources."
Other exempted products and services include medical supplies, fuel, critical maintenance, vehicle repairs, Title 18 professional contracts, fixed-rate contracts, and utilities.
The hiring freeze, enforced February 14, remains in effect, and applies to all agency positions except for correctional officers, food service workers, and maintenance staff, as well as those who already have employment offers issued.