Legislative Audit Council: $800,000 cell phone waste

Members of the General Assembly requested the Legislative Audit Council to conduct an audit of state agencies’ use of cell phones and other wireless communication devices. We reviewed whether agencies had policies and procedures to ensure that cell phones and other devices are used in an efficient manner and reviewed the adequacy of agency internal controls over these devices.

We estimate that during the time of our review state agencies had over 15,000 cell phones, 7,000 pagers, and 170 satellite phones. Approximately 25% of state employees carried state-issued cell phones. Of the 100 agencies we surveyed, 96 reported having issued cell phones and/or pagers to their employees. For equipment and services, we estimate that the state spent over $7 million on cell phones, $790,000 on pagers, and $68,000 on satellite phones in FY 05-06.

We found ways that agencies have taken steps to improve the efficiency of their use of these devices, including establishing statewide contracts, adopting cell phone plans that allow employees to share minutes, and using only one provider of cell phone services to obtain additional savings over the state contract.

We also identified areas where agencies could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their management of cell phones and other devices. We believe if all agencies were to adopt the recommendations contained in this audit, the state should be able to reduce its total expenditures on cell phones and pagers by at least 10%, resulting in estimated savings of over $800,000 annually.
To read the full audit