The 4-1-1 for California: Use the Web instead

State's CIO directs employees to free directory assistance

California’s Office of the State CIO is directing employees in need of directory assistance to look somewhere other than the traditional 411 directory assistance telephone service. Specifically, it recommends using the Web.

The CIO’s office recently issued IT Policy Letter 10-12 with the goal of cutting costs. The letter states that 411 service, which was free until the 1980s, costs between $1.25 and $1.79 per call. But why pay for something that’s available for free?

A number of websites offer similar service at no cost, the letter states. It lists several of them, including:

The CIO’s office estimates that employee calls to 411 currently cost the state $165,600 to $180,000 a year. Compared with the state’s budget — now 91 days late but projecting a $19.1 billion deficit — that’s not a lot of money.

But it’s the lowest of low-hanging fruit and an easy way for the state to save some pocket change, at least.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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