20 April 2009

New mobile phone policy

The idea: A new council policy for the use of mobile computing devices is being introduced to save money and make sure that the people who really need the technology get the right equipment to do their jobs.  A new mobile contract is also being negotiated to help the Council achieve better value for money.

Currently there are no guidelines for managers when deciding whether employees should have mobile phones, BlackBerrys and so on, and because the Council’s current contract with T-Mobile includes free phone line rental, there’s been little incentive to limit the number of people being given mobile phones.

This means there are around 1,160 mobile phones with call charges of less than £5 a month. If these mobiles are taken out of use it will save the Council around £70,000 a year. A similar approach for BlackBerry users will save around £60,000.

Further savings will be made by ending the personal use of works mobile phones except in an emergency. Until now employees have had to work out the cost of any personal calls when they get their monthly bill and then pay the Council by cheque or cash. Because this is usually just a few pounds for most people, the cost of administering the system is high compared to the benefits.

Applying the new policy will be a challenge; mobile users will need to complete a form outlining why they need to keep a works mobile or BlackBerry on the go, and some teams will need to develop a system of sharing office mobile phones for occasional users.

What was learnt? The policy is just being introduced across the organisation so learning is not available at this time.

Thank you to Coventry City Council for this example - please contact them for any updates.

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