Auditor White says these state-issued cellphones are another opportunity to reinvest money spent into more important areas.

Taxpayers could save nearly $350,000 a year if state-issued cell phones with little to no usage were turned off. This finding comes from a report issued by State Auditor Shad White’s office today.

“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,” said White. “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 devices came from five state agencies whose combined annual budgets represent nearly 75% of the state’s yearly spending. The report shows that 30% of the over 2,100 analyzed mobile devices had little to no usage.

The report also identified opportunities for state agencies to right size certain cell phone plans to reduce unnecessary spending. It 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.”

The full report is available online at the Auditor’s website under the “Reports” tab. Visit www.osa.ms.gov to learn more.