GovBytes: State-Issued Phones To Go The Way Of The Dodo

California Gov. Jerry Brown has eliminated 44 percent of all state-issued cell phones in what Government Technology’s Brian Heaton describes as “just the first round of cuts.” It’s part of Brown’s plan to reduce the number of state-issued phones in California by half, to lower costs for the budget-strapped state.

Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor’s office, said that Brown’s own office has achieved a 75 percent cutback of its cell phones to set an example for the rest of the state.

“In a time like this with these fiscal circumstances, it is critical that people are making cuts where they can,” Westrup said. “The answer is pretty simple: If the governor can do it, state employees can do it as well.”

California Purges Thousands of State-Issued Cell Phones

Brown seems to be of the opinion that most state employees do not need cell phones to do their jobs, and therefore that they’ll simply have to learn to do without.

Meanwhile, forward-thinking business executives like Google’s Matthew Glotzbach are making the case the employees need to be provided with the resources that allow them to be most productive (which, he says, in this days and age “means mobile”). His point is that we conduct all aspects of our personal lives on our cell phones and tablets today. It’s how this generation functions and how we’re comfortable getting things done. To force us to use outdated technologies in the workplace puts us at a competitive disadvantage.

Clearly, there are two diametrically opposing views on the necessity of company- or agency-issued cell phones. One side views them as a luxury, while the other sees them as a worthwhile investment.

What do you think?


“GovBytes” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with Government Technology. If you see great a story on Gov Tech and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected].

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If they can afford it but listening to California I would think they need to get rid of cell phones unless they have a rule about using for official work only. My last two private companies I worked for provided blackberrys but I could only use for company reasons. Meant I had to carry two cell phones inconvient but oh well.