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Oklahoma Corrections Department says state's food provider breached contract

A letter from Oklahoma's central purchasing services sent to Sysco, the state's food provider, asks the Houston based company to respond to allegations by the state Corrections Department of contract violation.
by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: December 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: December 23, 2013

The state Corrections Department alleges the company providing food to state departments, Houston-based Sysco, has breached its contract with the state.

According to the department, Sysco has violated five areas of the contract, including provisions dealing with pricing, reporting of out of stock items, and lack of communication on specials and deals.

Sysco signed a contract with the state of Oklahoma in October 2009 to provide food for 181 state entities until August 2015.

State Purchasing Director Scott Schlotthauer sent a letter Dec. 16 to Sysco asking the company to respond to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services within five business days with a plan of action on how the company will resolve the issues.

The letter states that if Sysco fails to respond in the time allotted, the state may use a third-party auditor to review the contract all the way back to its inception in 2009.

Mike Bennett, vice president of sales for Sysco's Norman facility, said they have received the letter and passed it along to the company's corporate offices in Houston.

Charley Wilson, spokesman for Sysco's corporate offices, said the letter did arrive at their Houston offices and has been forwarded to their legal department.

“We're reviewing the points within the letter and will address them with good faith with appropriate agencies within the state of Oklahoma,” Wilson said.

In October after similar concerns by the state Corrections Department, Wilson said that perishable items such as poultry and produce can vary in price during specific times of the year because of demand and market conditions.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch, where he covered areas such as immigration and drug addiction, he went...
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