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.

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

 

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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: As of November 2018, the Department of Commerce had not implemented this recommendation. Specifically, the department had not demonstrated that it established an inventory of all of its components' mobile devices and associated services.

    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: As of November 2018, the Department of Commerce had not implemented this recommendation. The department provided an inventory that shows, by service provider and department component, the number of devices per rate plan and monthly rate; however, the inventory did not include the number of voice minutes, gigabytes of data, and text messages allowed per line per month. Furthermore, the department had not demonstrated that it had accounted for all of its mobile service contracts.

    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: As of November 2018, the department had not addressed the recommendation. In July 2018, the department described steps it takes to identify lines that have been inactive for a period of three or more continuous months (zero usage). However, the department did not demonstrate that it has established documented procedures that address the elements of our recommendation. 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: As of November 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services had not implemented this recommendation. In April 2016, an audit liaison in the Office of the Chief Information Officer stated that each component maintains processes and procedures for device management. However, as of November 2018, 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 in our report. However, as of November 2018, the department had not provided sufficient evidence that its remaining components had inventories of unique devices and associated services.

    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: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Homeland Security has addressed the recommendation. Specifically, in our May 2015 report, we found that the department had developed an inventory of mobile service contracts; however, it did not include all components' service contracts. In addition, the department had not demonstrated that it had updated the inventory reports quarterly. In April 2018, the department demonstrated that it had established a mobile service contract inventory and maintained it for three quarters.

    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: As of November 2018, the Department of Homeland Security had not fully implemented the recommendation. The department developed an asset and inventory management plan for managing devices under its enterprise blanket purchase agreement. The plan discusses assessing devices for zero and over usage. However, it did not address under usage. It also did not include the specific steps to assess devices for zero, under, and over usage. In addition, the department had not provided evidence that it developed procedures for devices not covered by the enterprise blanket purchase agreement. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts.

    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: As of November 2018, the Department of the Interior had not demonstrated that it had implemented this recommendation. In August 2018, the department stated that it 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 service. An Office of the Chief Information Officer June 2018 report described steps the department was taking to ensure an inventory of mobile devices and services was established department-wide (i.e., that all components' devices and services are accounted for). The department also provided an inventory report of the quantity of devices by device type, as of June 2018. However, the department has not demonstrated that it has established an inventory that accounts for all devices and associated services. The department stated that it expects to have fully transitioned its mobile services to the blanket purchase agreements by the end of the first quarter in fiscal year 2019. 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: As of November 2018, the Department of the Interior had not addressed this recommendation. Specifically, in August 2018, the department stated that it 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 service. The department developed an inventory report of the quantity of devices by device type and service provider, as of June 2018, and a report, by mobile service contract, of financial obligations for fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018. However, the department did not demonstrate that it had accounted for all of its mobile service 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 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: As of November 2018, the Department of Justice had taken steps to implement this recommendation. 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, as of November 2018, the department had not demonstrated that its other components had 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 implemented this recommendation. In February 2019, the department described steps it was taking to address the recommendation, which it plans to complete by February 2020. 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 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 implemented this recommendation. In February 2019, the department described steps it was taking to develop a mobile service contract inventory, which it plans to complete by February 2020. Specifically, the Department said it is implementing a Telecom Expense Management System to help document the inventory. 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 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 February 2019, the department stated that it has drafted a guide to assist cost center managers with managing their mobile devices, services, and 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 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: As of January 2019, the Department of Transportation had not addressed the recommendation. In October 2018, an official from the department's Audit Relations and Program Improvement group stated that the department was working towards implementation and planned to provide an update in early 2019. We will continue to monitor the department's efforts to ensure that procedures to monitor and control mobile device spending are established department-wide, in accordance with our 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: As of January 2019, the Department of the Treasury had not implemented the recommendation. The department provided a mobile service contract inventory; however, the department did not demonstrate that it has an inventory that uniquely identifies each of its mobile devices and associated service information. 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 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: As of November 2018, the Department of Veterans Affairs had not addressed this recommendation. In August 2018, the department stated that it was drafting a policy that outlines procedures for its Telecommunications Provisioning Business Offices to assess mobile device usage. However, the department had not determined when the policy would be completed. 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: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has implemented this recommendation. In February 2016, the agency established a policy requiring that mobile services be purchased through one of the contract vehicles established in its mobile service blanket agreement, unless an exception applies or a waiver is granted. In July 2018, the agency demonstrated that it had established an inventory of all of its mobile devices and their associated services under the new contracts.

    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: As of November 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency had not implemented this recommendation. In July 2016, the agency stated that program offices received quarterly mobile device usage reports to review. However, as of November 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 implemented the recommendation. In July 2018, a Program Manager in NASA's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) stated that the OCIO's plan is to develop and deploy an Agency-wide Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. The enrollment of all NASA mobile devices into this system will be mandatory. When enrollment is completed, NASA will have a single comprehensive inventory of all mobile devices. Additionally, OCIO will issue guidance which mandates the use of a single, existing, Agency-wide vendor to provide all mobile devices and associated services. Once the guidance is issued and the remaining approximately 15 percent of devices are brought under the existing contract, NASA will have a monthly deliverable depicting the services of all mobile devices.

    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 and Space Administration (NASA) has not implemented the recommendation. In July 2018, a Program Manager in NASA's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) stated that OCIO's plan is to consolidate all mobile services with single, existing, agency-wide vendor which provides mobile device services. This contract would provide NASA a monthly deliverable documenting the carrier, device type, data/voice allocations, data/voice usage, and other information. NASA's estimated completion date for this is March 30, 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, a Program Manager in NASA's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) stated that as part of its Agency-wide MDM solution, OCIO's plan is to develop and issue guidance applicable to all NASA centers which would: 1) Require monthly review of the vendor-provided documentation on mobile device service utilization to look for devices which are either not, under, or over utilized; 2) list the [position name] at each Center as the individual with the authority and responsibility to monitor and control spending on mobile devices and services; and 3) Document the process to be used by that individual to monitor device usage and implement actions to correct any deviations. NASA's estimated completion date for this is July 31, 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: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Social Security Administration (SSA) has addressed our recommendation. Specifically, in January 2019, SSA demonstrated that it had a complete inventory of its mobile devices and associated services. In 2015, we reported that the agency had an inventory of mobile devices and associated services that included about 69 percent of the agency's reported quantity of devices. Since then, in January 2019, the agency demonstrated that it had sufficiently accounted for all of its devices.

    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: As of January 2019, the Department of the Treasury had not demonstrated that it has implemented the recommendation. In September 2018, the department stated that responsibilities for assessing mobile device usage have been delegated to its bureaus. However, the department has yet to demonstrate that procedures have been established department-wide. 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 November 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

 

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