Pentagon Cost-Cutting Aims at Cell Phone Services

The Defense Department's Business Initiative Council has approved an initiative to cut cellular phone costs through bulk purchasing, the department announced Oct. 15.

The initiative will pool, when manageable, department purchases of cell-phone services to negotiate with local and regional providers for lower charges.

The council also announced it will implement a similar bulk-buying acquisition process for commercial software in the near future.

The cell-phone initiative is one of 10 plans announced Oct. 15 by the Business Initiative Council. Other projects include a plan to streamline hiring procedures, simplify selected financial transfers and to increase departmental use of Web-based processing of invoices. The various projects will save the Pentagon an estimated $200 million, the department said.

The council was established in July by Pete Aldridge, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics As part of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's "Battle on Bureaucracy" initiative, the council was chartered to implement bureaucracy-reducing or money-saving opportunities in the business practices of the Department of Defense.

"This is only the beginning. We have many more initiatives under study that should contribute to more savings and improved efficiency," Aldridge said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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