Wednesday, October 27, 2010

City of Jacksonville reduces phone expenses by $170K

Jacksonville City Hall's cell phone bill was reduced about $170,000 by cancelling unused phones, prohibiting downloads and making sure users are on appropriate plans.

The changes, including canceling 139 phones that weren't being used and appointing a cell phone coordinator in each department, came in response to a city inspector general report issued a year ago.

That report found "little oversight over cellular expenditures," with used phones still incurring monthly charges and some employees racking up excessive text messaging fees and charges for roaming and calls to directory assistance.

Some users were downloading ringtones, games and videos while others were texting despite not being on a texting plan.

The single largest chunk of the savings - $50,000 - came from canceling unused phones. Such "zombie" phones came from workers leaving the city's employ but their phones remaining active because no one was told to shut them off.

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