City Controller Calls For 60% Reduction In Cell Phones

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                
March 1st, 2011                                                                                   

                                                                                        

CITY CONTROLLER CALLS FOR 60% REDUCTION IN CITY ISSUED CELL PHONES

 Controller to Turn in Her Own City Issued Cell Phone

(Los Angeles) – Continuing her efforts to save taxpayer money, City Controller Greuel called for a 60% reduction in the amount of City issued cell phones by July 1st, 2011, which could save the City nearly $5 million annually. The Controller will be releasing her final audit within weeks, which looks at the City’s cell phone usage and contracts with phone companies. 

To help save the City money, the Controller has made the decision to turn in her City issued cell phone and will use her personal cell phone for all City related business.

“I feel it’s important to lead by example, so I will be turning in my City issued cell phone. I’m calling for a 60% reduction Citywide in cell phones expenses by July 1st, because that money can be better spent.” said City Controller Greuel. “I hope the Council, Mayor, City Attorney and other City leaders will join me by turning in their cell phones and saving taxpayer money.”

The Controller’s audit discovered that there are 11,812 cell phones issued Citywide – including in the proprietary departments. Of that, there are 6,560 cell phones in City controlled departments, which cost the approximately $4.8 million annually. The proprietary departments distributed 5,251 cell phones to employees.

“When we’re closing libraries and leaving potholes unfilled, it defies comprehension that nearly 12,000 City employees need cell phones.” added Controller Greuel, “With the City facing a $350 million budget deficit, only those employees considered essential – such as Emergency Management and first responders – should be receiving this perk,”

The audit, which began last fall, looks at how effectively City departments manage and monitor cell phone usage to ensure they are only being used for official City business and City’s not paying for personal calls.  It also evaluates the criteria used by departments to assign cell phones to individual users and to assess the adequacy of City departments’ procedures to seek and collect reimbursement from employees for personal calls or usage.

The departments with the most City issued cell phones are:

Department of Water and Power – 3,971

Los Angeles Police Department – 1,525

Los Angeles World Airports – 872

Los Angeles Fire Department – 798

General Services Department – 580

Department of Building and Safety – 494

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