Federal Manager's Daily Report

The EPA needs to improve its oversight of mobile phones at the program office and regional levels, an IG report has said, finding that the agency has been paying for services that it has not been using.

The EPA paid about $4.8 million in fiscal year 2017 and $5.6 million in 2018 for mobile phones and mobile phone services, the report said, and has contracts with three national carriers—two of which offer “pooled minute” plans in which a user is assigned a number of minutes per month and any unused minutes are credited to other users who have exceeded their number.

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However, the report said that the agency is not effectively managing such plans and “without adequate information regarding monthly pooled plans, agency users may not be using their mobile phones cost-effectively.” Meanwhile, it found that 68 phones had no voice minutes used in 2017 or 2018, raising the question of whether they are needed; a closer look at eight of those found that they cost more than $12,000 in that time.

The IG said that agency management agreed with the recommendations of the report, which is the latest in a series from that office and the GAO finding issues with management of mobile phones at EPA.

See also, Audit Calls for Better Control on Time-Off Awards at EPA