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L.A. Spends Nearly a Quarter Million per Month on 11,000 Unused Phone Lines

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Photo by Alberto_Montoya via Flickr
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City Controller Wendy Greuel is at it again and this morning released a report showing off more wasteful spending in the city. With over 40,000 phone lines totaling $7.2 million a year in phone calls, she looked at phone call policies and if there is proper oversight in the justification employees making calls. Some findings her office released in a teaser are as follows:

  • The City has up to 11,890 idle phone lines, which cost $237,800 per month to maintain.
  • The City provides virtually no oversight on whether international calls made by City employees are justified.
  • Some City phones don’t require a Telephone Access Code (Telcode) for long distance calls, even though the City’s policy states that “All long distance calls on City telephones MUST be made with a Telcode.”
    • Out of a sample of long distance calls, nearly 40% did not require a Telcode. There may be as much as $100,000 in long distance calls that are untraceable.
    • There are instances where phone lines have been specifically requested to be exempt from using a Telcode; nearly 63% of those requests have come from elected officials offices.
  • There are 105 employees with multiple Telcodes, preventing accountability for excessive or unnecessary calls.