Gov. Chris Gregoire today announced that a governor's directive issued in November of 2011, combined with early action by state agencies, has already led to a reduction or optimization of 6,416 cellular devices, saving taxpayers nearly $1.7 million.
"These are the kinds of savings we have pursued across government that have significant results," said Gregoire. "The people of Washington expect us to deliver quality services with as few resources as possible. We will continue to monitor the use of cellular devices to assure that plans are being maximized. The recently created Office of the Chief Information Officer was instrumental in identifying these savings and will continue to seek technological efficiencies in other areas."
State agencies eliminated 3,450 unused and unnecessary cellular devices, and asked employees to return devices that had little use. Further, agencies optimized nearly 3,000 cellular devices by moving them to more efficient plans or by pooling minutes.
Prior to the governor's directive, many state agencies had already begun eliminating unused cellular devices and consolidating plans to achieve greater cost savings. The Office of the Chief Information Officer reviewed 65 agencies and found reductions across nearly all categories. Some of the biggest savings were found in the following:
* Department of Corrections, which eliminated 568 cellular devices and optimized 746 for a combined savings of $376,802;
* Department of Social and Health Services, which eliminated 1,314 cellular devices for a savings of $350,471;
* Washington State Department of Transportation, which eliminated 396 cellular devices and optimized 721 for a combined savings of $329,911;and
* Department of Licensing which eliminated 152 cellular devices for a savings of $62,689.
"The Department of Licensing was able to reduce 20 percent of our overall cell phones," said Alan Haight, Director of the Department of Licensing. "That is real savings in a time when it is sorely needed."
The Office of the Chief Information Officer will continue to work with agencies to develop a state cell phone policy and strategies for additional oversight and performance.