Friday, July 31, 2009

Ulster employees spent $200,000 on cell phones last year

KINGSTON – An audit of Ulster County employees’ use of cell phones and Blackberry devices showed they ran up $200,000 in phone bills in 2008. That’s up 40 percent over 2007 bills and County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach said the county needs to come up with a more efficient way of using mobile communications, but at a lower cost to the taxpayer.

He is not pointing the finger at the county workers, but at the types of cell phone plans purchased by the county in the past. In some cases, “Cadillac” plans were purchased for employees that used their phones minimally, thus driving the per-minute cost up to as much as $2, he said.

“We may want to take a less traditional approach to future use and review both a ‘pay as you go’ plan or consider reimbursing employees for the actual minutes used on their personal cell phone while conducting business on behalf of the county,” Auerbach said.

The report recommends specific actions to improve control over county-issued wireless telecommunication devices and also recommends the county hire a firm specializing in matching use to plans as well as assessing billing errors and negotiating the recovery of funds.


Anonymous said...

Taxpayers spent $ 200,000 on County employee cell phones. If you want to see why - look at the sales people names who got the commission on the contracts.

Anonymous said...

May this be an example to local comptroller's like John Tuey in the City of Kingston to do the same?

Hope vehicle's are reviewed next.