Congessional Budget Office

Subsidize personal cell phones

Pay employees $25/month to use their own cell phone. Supervisors certified the need. This may be a problem at activities that prohibit cameras unless the user is willing to have a phone without a camera (like me). (Blackberry devices might not be eligible because of the sensitivity of data accessed). To make this work, the Joint Travel Regulations or any Comptroller requirement that employees submit a claim for reimbursement would have to be changed. Right now users are required to process a claim - costing the government more. Getting the government out of the cell phone/blackberry business and subsidizing the employee's cell costs would be a great savings. Navy already consolidated their cell contracts to save money, but at our Navy activity alone, the "Cell Phone Program" costs $2,683,953 yearly. That does not include labor for managing these phones. Subsidizing users $25/month would cost $683,400 - saving $2M/year. Think about what that could save across the federal government.

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Idea No. 8061