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From Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh, PA

Under the new agreement, the county would continue to jointly purchase commodities, such as office supplies, uniforms and computers, and it will begin the joint purchase of non-professional services, such as plumbing repairs, electrical maintenance and waste disposal.

"Our initial joint purchasing agreement was extremely successful, resulting in $6.2 million in savings for taxpayers," Mr. Onorato said in a news release, adding that joint purchasing is first sign of the benefits of consolidation in city-county operations.

To that end, there have been 69 joint contracts and 29 joint bids totaling $19 million since April 2007, when the joint purchasing agreement went into effect. As a result of the joint contracts and bids, which include telecommunications and electricity purchases, the county has saved more than $5.2 million, and the city has saved nearly $1 million, officials said.

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