Thursday, June 28, 2012

Washington State Reimbursed $4 Million from Ricoh for Overcharges

Washington state government agencies will be receiving a $4 million windfall thanks to a settlement deal that was recently announced, requiring Ricoh Americas Corporation to pay back overcharges on copier services. The company has a $17 million per year contract with the state of Washington for supply of copiers and services, which is set to expire next April.

The review of the charges was ordered after an anonymous note gave the tip to the Washington Attorney General's Office back in 2009. The announcement was made by the State Department of Enterprise Services, which also announced the agreement with a news release on its website.

The $4 million settlement is based on samples of contract sales conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in response. In addition to that, it covers charges dating back to 2007 by Ricoh's subsidiary IKON Office Solutions, according to DES spokesman Steve Valandra. Ricoh purchased IKON and, according to Valandra, "stepped up and did the right thing" once the charges were noticed.

The $4 million will ultimately go back to state agencies and local governments that participated in the state's contract for copier services and were overcharged. According to Valandra, "What we will do over the next few months is see what agencies and local governments used the contract and how they were affected - and direct the money back to them."

Joyce Turner, Director of Enterprise Services, also stated, "We worked diligently to address the concerns and are pleased with the settlement agreement ... These negotiations and the process taken to bring this to resolution provide a model for government and industry working together to ensure that the taxpayers of Washington are best served."

Source: The Olympian - Ricoh to reimburse state $4M for copier overcharges
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