State auditor: Mississippi could save $350,000 by shutting down little used cell phones

Published 7:30 am Monday, August 29, 2022

Auditor Shad White said Mississippi could save about $350,000 if use of state-issued cell phones were monitored more closely.

How? Turn ‘em off, or at least shut off those showing little to no use.

The report said that 30 percent of the more than 2,100 analyzed mobile devices had little to no usage.

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The devices came from five state agencies whose combined annual budgets represent nearly 75 percent of the state’s yearly spending.

“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,” White said. “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 also identified opportunities for state agencies to “right-size” certain cell phone plans to reduce unnecessary spending.

The study 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.”