Issue - meetings

Audit Report on Mobile 'Phones

Meeting: 03/06/2015 - Audit Committee (Item 6)

6 Audit Report on Mobile 'Phones pdf icon PDF 92 KB


That the report be noted.


The IT Support Services Manager presented information on the use and cost of mobile phones by officers and elected Members of the Council, as requested by the Chairman.  A recent review of Council issued mobile phones had resulted in the withdrawal of 513 mobile phone contracts which were no longer required.  As an update on figures previously shared and based on usage in the previous year and annual rental charges, this represented savings of approximately £35,500 excluding VAT (£42,608 including VAT).


The report included a breakdown of the 1,985 active mobile phone contracts within each portfolio as at 31 March 2015.  At the end of May 2015, there were 2,076 active contracts (including ‘SIM only’).  Whilst contracts with inclusive minutes had previously been considered, it had been found that when looking at overall use, it was more cost-effective to use ‘pay as you go’ contracts.  The Council would be taking part in a tendering exercise, due for completion at the end of July 2015, to investigate whether further savings could be made.


The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that the provision of mobile phones supported the Council’s agile working policy, where teams were ‘hotdesking’, and to enable those required to work outside their normal place of work to remain in contact with their teams and customers.  In addition, developments in service areas such as Housing reinforced the importance of mobile phone usage.  Whilst the IT section had responsibility for the corporate contract, mobile phones were distributed and managed through a network of departmental representatives with responsibility for allocating and collecting devices from leavers as well as monitoring usage.  It was pointed out that some low usage mobile phones were allocated for emergencies only or to accept incoming calls only, and that cost analysis on high usage phones indicated that only 1.5% of the entire mobile phone estate had incurred charges above £200 per month.  The Chief Officer advised of plans to carry out further reviews of mobile phone provision on an annual basis and summarised the actions taken to date in response to the recommendations of the audit report.  As set out in the recommendation tracking section of the Internal Audit Progress Report, all had been implemented apart from the reconciliation to supplier data, due to the delay in removing charges from cancelled contracts and also the review of the policy.


Following a question from Councillor Alison Halford, the Chief Officer confirmed that the Council’s policy was for officers working from home to be contactable.  He said that Members wishing to contact officers on work matters should be given the mobile phone number, alternatively he provided explanation on the ‘Sametime’ facility which enabled officers’ work numbers to be diverted to a home or mobile number, with the cost of diverting the call met by the Council.


Councillor Ian Dunbar remarked on the difference in cost between contracts for mobile phones compared with those of Blackberry phones.  The Chief Officer explained that whilst the mobile phone contracts  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6