State audit finds WA wasting money on cellphones

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A new state audit has found Washington is wasting money on 2,000 idle state employee cellphones.

The Seattle Times (http://bit.ly/uvv1tg ) reports the audit found the state paid more than $500,000 in a year on phones that weren't being used.

The report, released Friday by State Auditor Brian Sonntag, comes right after Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered state agencies to reduce phone costs.

Sonntag says his office analyzed state-funded mobile devices between March 2010 and February 2011 after hearing that other states saved a lot of money by changing their cellphone policies.

The audit found the state spent $9.2 million on cellphone use in one year. Some 6,679 phones, accounting for $1.8 million in costs, were identified as being used minimally or not used at all. And many phones were locked into inefficient plans.

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Information from: The Seattle Times, http://www.seattletimes.com