Corpus Christi cuts down on city-issued cell phones

Officials expect to save $100,000 by eliminating city-issued cell phones for many employees

Officials in Corpus Christi, Texas, expect to save $100,000 by eliminating city-issued cell phones for many employees.

In May, the municipality eliminated city-issued cell phones for many employees. The policy change slashed Corpus Christi’s cell phone inventory by half, from 900 phones to about 450, according to an article written by Andy Opsahl for GovTech.

Now, only selected remote workers, such as meter readers and roadwork foremen, carry city-issued cell phones, and those phones must be left at the office at the end of each workday, Opsahl writes.

All other city workers were told to use their personal phones on the job and submit reimbursement requests for the work-related minutes they use. The new policy will save $100,000 annually, according to Corpus Christi CIO Michael Armstrong. Before restricting government-issued cell phones, the city paid approximately $360,000 per year for the devices, Opsahl writes.

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Previously, the Corpus Christi Municipal Information Systems, the city’s IT department, was responsible for tracking cell phone charges. That task has now been given to individual agencies, who have been instructed to monitor their employees’ phone minutes. Officials hope this will free up MIS employees and reduce personal calls charged to the city government.

Corpus Christi’s new cell phone compensation policy means more red tape for the individual agencies and less for the MIS. Before the change, MIS Functional Analyst Bertha Garcia’s entire job was managing the city’s cell phone bill, which stretched to nearly 500 pages, Opsahl writes.

The new rule generally is unpopular among employees, but officials are watching to see if employees will eventually accept it as a standard business practice, Opsahl’s article states.


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