GAME COMMISSION DECIDES TO CONTINUE RAISING PHEASANTS
For many years there has been speculation that the Pennsylvania Game Commission could purchase pheasants from commercial vendors and realize considerable savings over costs the agency incurs to raise pheasants on its four game farms.
Nearly two years ago, Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross asked staff to research this long-standing question to answer, once and for all, if a real savings could be realized by purchasing the production equivalent of one of the four agency game farms from the private sector.
"In the final analysis, it now is clear that the purchase of pheasants from the private sector would not bring about major cost reductions and, in fact, would result in a net increase in the agency's Propagation Division budget," Ross said. "With factual data now in hand, the Game Commission will not close the Northcentral Game Farm anytime in the foreseeable future and we will not be purchasing commercially-produced pheasants."
During the nearly two-year study period, the agency's Propagation and Automotive and Procurement divisions worked long and hard to research the matter and to qualify contractors and receive bids.
Ultimately, seven vendors were qualified and met the criteria for bidding on the pheasant contract. Bid prices ranged from $8.65 per bird to a high of $15 per bird. In order to purchase 49,700 pheasants from the five lowest bidders, the total cost would have been $488,280, or an average cost of $9.82 per bird. Delivery charges ranging from 40 cents per mile to 75 cents per mile are in addition to the price paid per bird. The Northcentral Game Farm, the facility targeted for closure if the commercial venture went forward, had spent $577,000 in fiscal year 2000-01 to raise nearly 48,000 pheasants. However, in closing the Northcentral facility, two managers would have been retained in the Propagation program to administer contracts. Their combined salaries and benefits would have been approximately $134,000. Other costs would have been incurred in the form of a survey to determine hunter satisfaction with commercially-produced pheasants released in the field.
Adding to the final decision was the fact that in switching the Northcentral Game Farm staff from pheasant production to Food and Cover Corps duties would still retain those salaries and benefits in the agency's existing personnel costs.
"I am pleased to finally have factual data upon which to defend the Game Commission's Propagation Program," said Ross. "Not only do our four game farms produce a quality product for the hunters of Pennsylvania, but they also do it economically, efficiently and effectively.
"Nonetheless, we will continue to review any and all agency functions to ensure we fulfill our responsibilities to the wildlife, the hunters and trappers, and the general public in a more cost-efficient manner."
Is this something some other pencil pusher could handle for less than 134K? Wonder how much that is in todays dollars..
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post edited by Blowchowski - 2009/10/23 16:33:29