Los Angeles City Controller, Wendy Greuel, recently conducted an audit of seven Los Angeles city departments relating to city-owned cell phones. Greuel found that the city wastes about $1 million per year on nearly 12,000 city-owned cell phones. Greuel’s audit revealed:
- The city did not have any central management of cell phone contracts
- No one department is responsible for ensuring city policies are followed
- 20% of all staffers in non-revenue generating departments have a cell phone, which costs the city $4.8 million annually
- There was no comprehensive list of the number of cell phones issued by the city
- Guidelines were in place for cell phone usage, but not for which employees should get cell phones paid for by tax-payers
- 563 cell phones in the seven departments had not been used for two to three consecutive months, which cost the city about $46,000 per month
The audit also included 13 recommendations including, new rules for assigning cell phones and giving employees only a set number of minutes or text-messages per months. In addition, Greuel indicates that contracts needed to be periodically evaluated. This audit, and its results, should be a springboard for looking into other expenditures.