6/4/15 Fed Phones

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I have five phones in my wireless plan.  I know who has each phone.  And how much they cost.  This is because I’m paying the bill each month.

Not so, for the federal government based on a review by the Government Accountability Office.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, federal agencies spend about 1.2 billion dollars each year for mobile device service.  This include cell phones, tablets, and wireless air cards.

Managing mobile devices such as accounting for who has them and how much money is being spent isn’™t just good business.  It’s federal law [40 USC § 11315].

The GAO examined 15 federal agencies.  The results are awful.

10 agencies have little or no idea who actually possesses a mobile device.  And only one agency has effective procedures in place to monitor spending.  The other 14 agencies have little or no idea how devices are being used or for what services the government is paying.

Here some examples.

NASA can’t account for who possesses about 1500 devices.

When it comes to sloppy record-keeping, the IRS has no idea what service plans it has for nearly 29,000 devices.

And the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t have an inventory of its devices, who possesses them, or how they’re being used.

Moreover, the agencies are definitely not wise consumers.  They pay between 69 to 122 dollars monthly for the identical service of unlimited voice, data and text.

This is what happens when government gets too big.

[The entire GAO report is here.]

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