Audit: City-Issued Cell Phones Cost Almost $5M A Year

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An audit released Tuesday says the city of Los Angeles could save almost $5 million a year by taking back the cell phones issued to employees.

City Controller Wendy Greuel wants a 60 percent reduction in the number of city-issued cell phones starting July 1, the first day of the incoming fiscal year.

An audit found that 6,560 cell phones issued by city-controlled departments cost about $4.8 million a year. Proprietary departments whose budgets are separate from the city, like the Department of Water and Power, handed out another 5,251 cell phones.

“When we’re closing libraries and leaving potholes unfilled, it defies comprehension that nearly 12,000 city employees need cell phones,” Greuel said. “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.”

Greuel said she plans to return her city-issued cell phone and urged other officials to do the same.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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