Report Shows Cost to Taxpayers of Unused State-Issued Cell Phones – Picayune Item


Report shows cost to taxpayers of unused state-issued cellphones

Posted 10:10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 23, 2022

JACKSON, Miss. – Taxpayers could save nearly $350,000 a year if state-issued cell phones with little or no use were turned off. That finding comes from a report released today by the office of state auditor Shad White.

“My office has handled some of the biggest fraud cases in state history, but we’re also committed to seeking efficiencies in every corner of state government,” White said. “If we reused that money spent on unused cellphones, we could pay 11 new police salaries or put 14 new police cars on the streets every year.”

The report shows that 30% of the more than 2,100 mobile devices analyzed had little or no use. The devices came from five state agencies whose combined annual budgets represent nearly 75% of the state’s annual spending. The report also identified opportunities for state agencies to downsize some cell phone plans to reduce unnecessary spending. It concludes with recommendations that all state agencies can use to reduce cell phone costs and save taxpayer dollars.

“We could put thousands more textbooks in classrooms every year instead of paying for unused cell phones,” White said. “Low-use cellphones are just another opportunity for the state to reinvest the money spent in more important areas.”

The full report is available online on the Auditor’s website under the “Reports” tab. Visit to learn more.


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