MINEOLA, N.Y.,Dec. 1– The Nassau County Comptroller issued the following news release:
Nassau County ComptrollerGeorge Maragosreleased his Information Technology Telecommunications audit which found thousands of more telephone lines than employees, some of which are no longer working for the County. In response to the Comptroller’s audit, IT stated they identified “4,600 suspect or unverified lines” during a survey conducted last year. The audit found the excess lines cost the County up to$1.2 millionduring a twenty month period fromJanuary 2010toAugust 2011.
“There must be greater oversight and control of theVerizontelephone billing,” Comptroller Maragos said. “The IT Departmentwill need to double its efforts to review theVerizonbills to bring telephone service charges under control and save millions for the taxpayers.”
The excess and unauthorized phone lines are the result of inadequate review of the monthlyVerizonbills and an oversight to request for unused telephone lines to be disconnected.
Below are illustrations of some departments with a significantly greater number of phone lines when compared to number of employees:
The Planning Departmentwith 136 lines for 37 employees;
The Department of Social Serviceswith 1,558 lines for 968 employees;
The Treasurer’s Office with 75 lines for 38 employees.
The IT reclamation initiative intended to eliminate unneeded lines was a good first step, but more needs to be done to find and eliminated unnecessary telephone lines. The monthly service charges actually increased fromDecember 2009throughNovember 2011and more lines were added than deleted.
The County IT Departmentagrees that the excessiveVerizonlines need to be eliminated and they must develop a more comprehensive telecommunication policy to control telephone services provided to employees. IT indicated that they may be hampered in implementing the audit findings recommendations due to lack of staff.
“There should be no reason that unnecessary lines are not being disconnected immediately. The necessary resources should be dedicated to verify the accuracy ofVerizonbilling,” Comptroller Maragos concluded.
Limited Review of the Nassau County Department of Information Technology Telecommunications Management(http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Comptroller/documents/IT_Telecommunication_FINALReport