1 in 6 NJ Phone Lines Are Useless: Audit

Millions of dollars wasted

Wednesday, Jul 7, 2010  |  Updated 12:02 PM EDT
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1 in 6 NJ Phone Lines Are Useless: Audit

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PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 26: A headset hangs on a cubical wall after the last telemarketing shift at Spectrum Marketing Services, Inc. September 26, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Spectrum Marketing Services, Inc., which had been in business since 1974, and as of January 2003 employed 125 people, was forced to close it's doors due to the Do Not Call Registry. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

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Can you bill me now? A new comptroller audit has found New Jersey state government wastes millions annually due to unused phone lines.

The audit found more than 19,000 phone lines, or nearly one in every six, should be disconnected because they go unused or are no longer needed.

As a result of the audit, state departments have disconnected or suspended each of the lines at an overall savings of more than $3.2 million annually.

The audit also found the state has been renewing some of its major telecommunications contracts for more than a decade without opening the contracts up to competition as required by law.

Comptroller Matt Boxer says the unused lines are examples of government waste that "don't get much clearer.''

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