Telecommunications:

Agencies Need Better Controls to Achieve Significant Savings on Mobile Devices and Services

GAO-15-431: Published: May 21, 2015. Publicly Released: May 21, 2015.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Carol R. Cha
(202) 512-4456
chac@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

What GAO Found

Most of the 15 agencies GAO reviewed did not have an inventory of mobile devices and associated services that can be used to assess device usage. The majority of agencies delegated responsibility of their inventories to their components. Only 5 of the 15 agencies had complete service and device inventories at either the enterprise-level or at the components GAO reviewed. The remaining agencies either did not have inventories or those inventories did not account for all devices and services.

Similarly, only 1 of the 15 agencies GAO reviewed had documented procedures for monitoring spending by reviewing devices and associated service plans for overuse, underuse, or zero use, which are key indicators of potential inefficient use. Eleven agencies had procedures that either addressed some of the potential aspects of inefficient use or were incompletely documented. Three agencies did not have any documented procedures for monitoring mobile device usage.

Number of Agencies That Followed Guidance on Managing Mobile Devices and Services

 

Fully satisfied

Met some but not all

Did not satisfy

Inventory (devices and services)

5

7

3

Procedures

1

11

3

Source: GAO analysis of agency data. | GAO-15-431

A key reason agencies did not have enterprise-wide inventories and adequate procedures for monitoring and controlling spending is that they took a decentralized approach to managing mobile device spending. Without an inventory that includes each device and associated service limits and rates, as well as documented procedures to assess device usage relative to service rate plans, agencies have a limited ability to monitor device usage and determine if a device should be canceled or moved to a more cost-effective service plan. Further, without a reliable inventory of mobile service contracts, agencies are less likely to identify opportunities for consolidation, and thus are less likely to achieve cost savings.

In addition, although the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) identified a goal for financial savings related to mobile devices and services, it has not measured progress toward that goal, as called for by leading practices in performance management. Instead, an OMB analyst said that OMB provides agencies with information on rates paid by other agencies because it believes such information is more effective at convincing agencies to achieve savings. However, without measuring progress toward its goal, OMB has little assurance that its approach is effective.

Regarding monthly mobile service costs, according to reports to OMB that GAO reviewed, agencies paid a range of rates per line for various service combinations, from $21 for 200 voice minutes, unlimited data, and 200 text messages, to $122 for unlimited voice, data, and text messages. Agencies also paid different rates for the same bundle of services. For example, for the unlimited voice, text, and data bundles, agencies paid between $69 and $122 per month.

Why GAO Did This Study

According to the most recent OMB estimate, the federal government spends about $1.2 billion annually on about 1.5 million mobile devices and associated services. OMB has identified the potential for achieving efficiencies and reducing spending on mobile technology.

GAO was asked to study management of federal mobile devices. This report's objectives were to (1) determine the extent to which federal agencies developed and maintained inventories of mobile devices and wireless services, (2) determine the extent to which agencies established procedures for monitoring and controlling spending on these devices and services, and (3) describe agencies' mobile service rates. For the 15 agencies having the highest reported annual telecommunications spending, GAO compared their inventories and procedures with federal guidance, and identified service rates reported to OMB. For each agency that delegated responsibilities to components, GAO assessed two components' inventories and procedures. GAO also interviewed agency and OMB officials.

What GAO Recommends

To better control mobile device spending, GAO recommends that the 15 agencies take actions to improve their inventories and control processes and that OMB measure and report progress in achieving mobile cost savings. OMB and 14 agencies generally agreed with the recommendations or had no comment. One agency, the Department of Defense, partially agreed, but GAO maintains actions are still needed.

For more information, contact Carol R. Cha at (202) 512-4456 or chac@gao.gov.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Agriculture has addressed the recommendation. The department implemented a consolidated inventory management module, which is integrated with its telecommunication expense management system, and has demonstrated that all components' devices and associated services are accounted for in the system.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Agriculture should ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services is established department-wide (i.e., all components' devices and associated services are accounted for).

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Agriculture has implemented the recommendation. In August 2017, the department established a department-wide process for assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage, and assigned responsibility for conducting the process to component Telecommunications Mission Area Control Officers. According to the process, the component is to run a quarterly wireless zero usage report from the department's Telecommunications Expense Management System, and if the report shows no usage for a device for an extended period of time, the component is to take appropriate action, such as disconnect the service. In addition, according to the process, the component is to review usage data to assess whether savings could be achieved by rightsizing service plans. For example, if a line of service consistently does not use its allotted minutes or data, it should be moved to a plan with a lower allotment or to a pool to share allotment with higher-volume users. Conversely, if a line of service consistently exceeds its allotted minutes or data, it should be moved to a plan with a higher allotment or a pool to share allotment with lower-volume users.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Agriculture should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  3. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Commerce has not yet implemented this recommendation. In response to our report, the department said it planned to address the recommendation by the second quarter of fiscal year 2016. However, as of December 2017, it had not demonstrated that it had done so. We will continue to monitor the department's progress.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Commerce should ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services is established department-wide (i.e., all components' devices and associated services are accounted for).

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  4. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Commerce has not yet implemented this recommendation. In response to our report, the department said it planned to address the recommendation by the second quarter of fiscal year 2016. However, as of December 2017, it had not demonstrated that it had done so. We will continue to monitor the department's progress.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Commerce should ensure a reliable department-wide inventory of mobile service contracts is developed and maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  5. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Commerce has not yet implemented this recommendation. In response to our report, the department said it planned to address the recommendation by the second quarter of fiscal year 2016. However, as of December 2017, it had not demonstrated that it had done so. We will continue to monitor the department's progress.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Commerce should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  6. Status: Open

    Comments: DOD partially concurred with our recommendation. The Department agreed that such an inventory has merits, but stated that maintaining an inventory comes at considerable expense and effort. However, as we stated in our report, the inventory need not be generated centrally at the headquarters level; the department can compile a comprehensive inventory using its components' complete inventories. As of July 2018, the Department of Defense has not implemented this recommendation. While the Department described effort to compile inventories at several components, it has not yet shown that it has completed inventories covering all of its components. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Defense should ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services is established department-wide (i.e., all components' devices and associated services are accounted for).

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Open

    Comments: DOD partially concurred with our recommendation. DOD agreed that such an approach has merits, especially in a time of restricted government spending. The comments also describe several efforts the department has undertaken to enhance mobile device management. However, we believe any approach to managing mobile device contracts will be hampered by the lack of complete information on the contracts that are already in place. As of July 2018, the Department of Defense has not implemented this recommendation. The department updated its mobile services contract inventory in February, May, and August 2017. However, department officials said that the inventory did not include all the contracts. For example, they said that the inventory does not include international contracts. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Defense should ensure a reliable department-wide inventory of mobile service contracts is developed and maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Health and Human Services has implemented this recommendation. The department updated its mobile service contracts inventory in September 2015 and continued to maintain it with updates in November 2015 and February and May 2016.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should ensure a current department-wide inventory of mobile service contracts is developed and maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  9. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Health and Human Services has not implemented this recommendation. In April 2016, an audit liaison in the Office of the Chief Information Officer reported that each component maintains processes and procedures for device management. However, as of December 2017, the department had not provided evidence that components have established procedures that address the elements of our recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's implementation of this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  10. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Homeland Security has taken steps to implement this recommendation. Specifically, it developed inventories for the two components we reviewed. The department stated that it had identified all components' devices. However, as of January 2018, it had not provided evidence that all the components had inventories of unique devices and associated services. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Homeland Security should ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services is established department-wide (i.e., all components' devices and associated services are accounted for).

    Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security

  11. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Homeland Security has taken steps to implement the recommendation, but more needs to be done. Specifically, in May 2017, the department developed an enterprise-wide inventory of mobile service contracts; however, it has not demonstrated that it has effectively maintained the inventory. Specifically, in January 2018, the department provided its August 2017 and November 2017 mobile service contract inventory reports, which account for all of the department's components except the U.S. Secret Service. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to fully implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Homeland Security should ensure a reliable department-wide inventory of mobile service contracts is developed and maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security

  12. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Homeland Security has not implemented the recommendation. In January 2018, the department's Information Technology Services Office described steps the department was taking. Specifically, the office stated that the department plans to establish an enterprise-wide policy in fiscal year 2018, and that procedures will be derived from the policy. The office added that the department's Chief Information Officer Product and Services Delivery Management Office convened a working group to draft a mobility implementation plan, which the Information Technology Services Office said will address the procedures in the recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Homeland Security should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security

  13. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Interior has not implemented this recommendation. As of May 2017, the department was in the process of migrating its cellular service contracts to the General Services Administration's federal wireless strategic sourcing initiative blanket purchase agreement as its agency-wide solution for mobile devices and services. According to the department, the initiative requires awardee(s) and orderers to conduct a complete inventory of devices and legacy service contracts as they transition to the blanket purchase agreement. According to the department's transition plan, the transition was to be completed by February 2018. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of the Interior should ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services is established department-wide (i.e., all components' devices and associated services are accounted for).

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  14. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Interior has not implemented this recommendation. As of May 2017, the department was in the process of migrating its cellular service contracts to the General Services Administration's federal wireless strategic sourcing initiative blanket purchase agreement as its agency-wide solution for mobile devices and services. According to the department, the initiative requires awardee(s) and orderers to conduct a complete inventory of devices and legacy service contracts as they transition to the blanket purchase agreement. According to the department's transition plan, the transition was to be completed by February 2018. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of the Interior should ensure a reliable department-wide inventory of mobile service contracts is developed and maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  15. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of the Interior has addressed the recommendation. Specifically, in May 2017, it issued a Mobile Services and Devices Management Guide, which includes procedures for monitoring and controlling spending on mobile devices department-wide. The guide incudes procedures for assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage, states that the Associate Chief Information Officer of each component is responsible for assessing device usage, and documents the steps to be followed to perform the process. For example, the guide says that a component with a pooled plan that under-utilizes its available limits by 25 percent or more for three consecutive months is required to review its requirements and change to a more appropriate plan (if available).

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of the Interior should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  16. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Justice demonstrated that it has implemented this recommendation. Specifically, it delivered quarterly mobile service contract reports to OMB from November 2015 through May 2016.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Attorney General should ensure a department-wide inventory of mobile service contracts is maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  17. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Justice has taken steps to implement this recommendation; however, as of February 2018, the department has not demonstrated that it had fully implemented it. Specifically, in response to our findings, in April 2015, the department's Chief Information Officer issued a memo that required components to establish procedures for regular reviews of invoices for wireless services to identify unused and underused devices or services, as well as any over-usage charges to service plans. One of the components we reviewed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, established procedures in July 2016 to monitor mobile device usage. However, the department has not demonstrated that its other components have implemented the requirements. We will continue to monitor the department's progress.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Attorney General should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  18. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State has not yet implemented this recommendation. The department stated that it transitioned its mobile devices and services to the General Services Administration's Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative as of September 2017. However, as of November 2017, the department had not demonstrated that it has established a department-wide inventory of mobile devices and services.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of State should ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services is established department-wide (i.e., all components' devices and associated services are accounted for).

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  19. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State has not yet implemented this recommendation. The department stated that it transitioned its mobile devices and services to the General Services Administration's Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative as of September 2017. However, as of November 2017, the department had not demonstrated that it had addressed the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of State should ensure a reliable department-wide inventory of mobile service contracts is maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  20. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State has not implemented this recommendation. In November 2017, the department stated that it had implemented a process to identify mobile lines with no usage; however, the department has not provided evidence that it has established procedures that address the elements of our recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of State should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  21. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Transportation has not addressed the recommendation. In September 2017, the department's Director of Audit Relations and Program Management stated that its components planned to transition to a single enterprise contract vehicle for purchasing wireless services by December 2017. However, as of February 2018, the department has not demonstrated that it has addressed the recommendation. We will continue to monitor the department's progress in implementing the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Transportation should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  22. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Treasury has not yet implemented this recommendation. In May 2016, the Department of the Treasury stated that it had performed data calls to collect data on mobile device inventories across the department. However, as of December 2017, the department had not demonstrated that it had established a department-wide inventory of mobile devices and services. We will monitor the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of the Treasury should ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services is established department-wide (i.e., all components' devices and associated services are accounted for).

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  23. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Veterans Affairs has not yet implemented this recommendation. In December 2016, the department stated that its Office of Information and Technology had drafted documentation for the development and implementation of a system to manage spending on mobile devices and services. However, the solution had not been funded. The department stated that a target date for addressing the recommendation was December 2017, conditional on available funds. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to address the recommendation

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  24. Status: Open

    Comments: The Environmental Protection Agency has yet to demonstrate that it has implemented this recommendation. Specifically, it reported in October 2015 that it had conducted a management review and identified improvements to ensure that the agency has a complete inventory of mobile devices and services. However, as of February 2018, the agency had not demonstrated that it had established a complete inventory. We will continue to monitor the agency's progress.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should ensure a complete inventory of mobile devices and associated services is established.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  25. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has addressed our recommendation. Specifically, in May 2015, we reported that the agency had developed an inventory of mobile service contracts; however, it included only the service contracts procured through its working capital fund. Since then, the agency established mobile service blanket purchase agreements and consolidated its non-working capital fund contracts into the blanket purchase agreements. In addition, in February 2016, EPA established a policy requiring that mobile services be purchased through one of these contract vehicles. EPA has demonstrated that it has a complete inventory of its mobile service contracts.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should ensure a reliable inventory of mobile service contracts is maintained.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  26. Status: Open

    Comments: The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet implemented this recommendation. In July 2016, the agency stated that program offices received quarterly mobile device usage reports to review. However, as of February 2018, the agency had not provided documented procedures that address the elements of our recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established agency-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  27. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As of July 2015, GSA had implemented our recommendation. Specifically, we reported in May 2015 that the agency had established procedures to assess devices for zero usage; however, they did not include assessing devices for under or over usage. In July 2015, GSA documented steps to take to assess devices for under or over usage

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Acting Administrator of General Services should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  28. Status: Open

    Comments: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has not yet implemented the recommendation. In July 2018, officials from NASA's Office of the Chief Information Officer stated that the agency plans to address the recommendation by implementing an Agency-wide Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution and issuing guidance which mandates the use of a single, existing, Agency-wide vendor. The officials stated that the agency expects to fully address the recommendation by December 2018.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should ensure a complete inventory of mobile devices and associated services is established.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  29. Status: Open

    Comments: The National Aeronautics Administration (NASA) has not yet implemented the recommendation. In July 2018, officials from NASA's Office of the Chief Information Officer stated that the agency plans to address the recommendation by consolidating all mobile services with a single, existing, Agency-wide vendor which provides mobile device services. The officials stated that the agency expects to fully address the recommendation by March 2019.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should ensure a reliable inventory of mobile service contracts is developed and maintained.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  30. Status: Open

    Comments: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has not implemented the recommendation. In July 2018, officials from NASA's Office of the Chief Information Officer stated that the agency plans to address the recommendation by developing and issuing guidance applicable to all NASA centers as part of its Agency-wide MDM solution. The officials stated that the agency expects to fully address the recommendation by July 2019.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established agency-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  31. Status: Open

    Comments: The Social Security Administration (SSA) described steps it was taking to address our recommendation. Specifically, the agency stated that it had deployed and was operating a Mobile Expense Management System that will be used to maintain an enterprise-wide inventory of mobile devices and associated services once all of the agency's mobile service contracts/accounts have been successfully consolidated to one of the agency's blanket purchasing agreements. SSA expected to complete this consolidation in the September to October 2016 timeframe. However, as of February 2018, the agency had not demonstrated that it had an inventory that accounts for all its components' devices. We will continue to monitor its progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure a complete inventory of mobile devices and associated services is established.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  32. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Social Security Administration (SSA) has implemented the recommendation. In October 2017, the agency established procedures that address the elements of our recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the agency effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established agency-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  33. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Treasury has not yet implemented this recommendation. In May 2016, the department stated that it had awarded two contracts to facilitate mobile device management, and had advised its bureaus to track, analyze, and manage mobile device use and cost in accordance with GAO guidance at their level until migration to the department-wide contracts has been completed. However, as of December 2017, the department had not demonstrated that it had established department-wide procedures to monitor and control spending on mobile devices and services. We will continue to monitor the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To help the department effectively manage spending on mobile devices and services, the Secretary of the Treasury should ensure procedures to monitor and control spending are established department-wide. Specifically, ensure that (1) procedures include assessing devices for zero, under, and over usage; (2) personnel with authority and responsibility for performing the procedures are identified; and (3) the specific steps to be taken to perform the process are documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  34. Status: Open

    Comments: As of January 2018, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had made progress in implementing this recommendation by requiring agencies to track savings; however, it had not reported progress in achieving its goal of cost savings. Specifically, in August 2016, OMB issued a policy requiring covered agencies to identify opportunities for contract consolidation and track savings, among other things. In addition, a mobile services category team led by the OMB IT Category Manager, the General Services Administration, and the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, developed a strategic plan that includes creating a new government-wide acquisition approach by May 2018. In January 2018, OMB stated that the team was working to develop an approach for measuring savings related to mobile devices and services. We will continue to monitor OMB's efforts to implement the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To better enable OMB to oversee agency efforts to consolidate mobile telecommunications contracts, the Director should measure and report progress in achieving its goal of cost savings through consolidation, as described in the 2012 Digital Government Strategy.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of Management and Budget

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 7, 2018

Jan 9, 2018

Nov 27, 2017

Oct 30, 2017

Oct 12, 2017

Sep 29, 2017

Sep 21, 2017

Sep 19, 2017

Sep 14, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here