Thursday, August 4, 2022

Unused Cellphones Cost State $$$$

 State Auditor Shad White issued the following statement. 

 Taxpayers could save nearly $350,000 a year if state-issued cell phones with little to no usage were turned off. This finding comes from a report issued by State Auditor Shad White’s office today. 

“My office has handled some of the biggest fraud cases in state history, but we’re also committed to looking for savings in the smallest corners of state government,” said White. “If we repurposed this money spent on unused cell phones, we could pay for 11 new police officer salaries or put 14 new police cruisers on the streets every year.” 

The report shows that 30% of the over 2,100 analyzed mobile devices had little to no usage. The devices came from five state agencies whose combined annual budgets represent nearly 75% of the state’s yearly spending. The report also identified opportunities for state agencies to rightsize certain cell phone plans to reduce unnecessary spending. It concludes with recommendations all state agencies can use to reduce cellphone costs and save taxpayer money.

“We could be putting thousands more textbooks in classrooms each year instead of paying for unused cellphones,” said White. “Low-usage cellphones are just another opportunity for the state to reinvest money spent into more important areas.”


Anonymous said...

Having a free state cellphone is a status symbol.

"What? You don't have a cellphone? You must not be very important."

Anonymous said...

$350k buys 11 police officers? No wonder we can’t find police officers. Lot safer to work at McDonald's or Target for $15 per hour.

Anonymous said...

Oh that’s nothing. My brother works at a agency downtown. He says he has a laptop, connected to the internet via a line, and he has a cell phone and a desk phone and they have wifi through out the building. He says the IT dept is too dumb to figure out how they don’t need desk phones and internet through the walls. Just wasting money

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was issued a state phone before I retired. I never talked on it because I used my personal phone to talk on as everyone already knew that number and would call me on it anyway. The state phone was a back up and I used it only when I didn't have coverage for my personal one AND FOR MY WORK EMAIL ACCOUNT. I wouldn't have used a state phone at all except to have access to my email when I was out of the office.
Nobody talks on a phone anymore if they can help it

Anonymous said...

You could also be putting Phil Bryant behind bars if you pressed Lynn Fitch about it.... but oh, well - just like the schoolbooks. Shad you're a POS. You have lost all legitimacy in MS. Now, just please shut the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

There's a list of companies as long as my arm that will analyze an organization's telecom spend and negotiate with the carriers to rationalize/consolidate services. They take a cut of the savings - so, effectively no out-of-pocket for the organization.

But no one in the MS state government has the sense to Google something like that.

Anonymous said...

Just give each employee who is authorized a state cell phone an allowance of $20ish/month and stop issuing phones. The employee who gets the allowance will turn in his/her state issued phone and use his/her personal cell for state business (in the rare case needed). For COMSEC reasons, agency heads, Gov and Lt Gov, TAG, etc., may need to keep a state issued phone.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what agencies he is referencing but our agency I will not name but we are the main tennent in the Woolfolk building and has finance in the name makes us use our own cellphones and the IT dept puts our work email on it. We do have laptops but we only use those at night after hours if there is something broke.

Anonymous said...

What a joke. Come on Shad, do the right thing in the Human Services scandal. Don't be just another young hotshot that turns out to be nothing more than another political hack.

Anonymous said...


That only works if people do busines like most normal folk and organizations.

In Mississippi you'd have to hire your cousin's brother-in-law to be the expert!

fed up in Jackson said...

350k spent on unused phones! That’s government for you!

Anonymous said...

What are you folks clamoring about now? Y'all do realize Shad said the Guv and AG were wrong to fire the lawyer man. Think bucking them didn't spend some of his MSGOP political capital?


Shad gives no F***s about your opinion. Y'all need to get off the internet and try exercising. It'll help your blood pressure.

Anonymous said...

In the words of 11:38, who forgot their meds this morning, all y'all STFU!
I appreciate the auditor looking into waste throughout our government. Some of course is pure theft. This is simply old practice that is no longer necessary and would continue without oversight. And you do not know or need to know everything that is going on in the DHS welfare investigation. Information and evidence has been and continues to be collected. In the meantime, keep up the good work, Shad.

Anonymous said...

I’ll mimic my comment on a previous post: if state agencies were run like businesses, these issues wouldn’t exist. Program Investigators (individuals who over see particular programs and grant funds) should be looking over their monthly reports and identifying unused lines. A particular program at one agency had hot spot lines being charged. The hot spots themselves were outdated technology (didn’t operate) and were buried in a box of wires and old equipment. It was costing the program less than $50/m but imagine duplicating that across, say, 40% of programs, across every state agency. Just for HOT SPOTS. I’m surprised the calculated savings in Shad’s report is only $350,000, honestly.

Anonymous said...

This brings back memories of the old days, when my State Agency first issued Blackberrys to the "field executives".

It was so funny watching middle aged folks stare at these objects ... while thinking they were important because they had a ... "Blackberry".

Anonymous said...

No friend of Shad but I actually appreciate him doing this

Anonymous said...

It’s fine if you don’t give me a cell phone but you aren’t using my personal cell phone for your apps or to call me after hours.

ors said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This latest report is one of the most wasteful uses of State Auditor Howdy Doody's time and our money. I am amazed that the statewide-elected State Auditor is unaware (or just fails to mention) that there is a Wireless Communication Commission which negotiates cellular contracts for ALL state agencies. State agency leaders do not have that authority. His report also fails to address what the data usage amounts are for these phones. As others have said, very few people use "minutes" (i.e., phone call time) on their cellular accounts these days, but this report does not even look at the data usage. Should fewer state employees have an agency-issued cell phones? Probably so, but that is no surprise and this report is worthless for failing to explore the data usage of all these state-issued phones.

Anonymous said...

Hello, hello, can you hear me now? Is this thing working?

Anonymous said...


Sounds like you're one of the dense ones. Let me read between the lines for you.

Why does the state pay for a PHONE line if the assignee really only needs DATA? Taxpayers lose when they buy something NOBODY needs. Like the other person said, if businesses ran like the state, they wouldn't be businesses very long.

Anonymous said...

Shad could save 5 times that annually if he contracted CPA firms for work that his staff currently does wastefully with taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

@ "I don't know what agencies he is referencing but our agency I will not name but we are the main tennent in the Woolfolk building and has finance in the name makes us use our own cellphones and the IT dept puts our work email on it."

What do you need email for when you don't know English?

Anonymous said...

If you live in Mississippi, "status symbol" is an oxymoron...especially if you do have some money.

Anonymous said...

@1:12pm Hi Shad!

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