Canadian department blows half-mil on BlackBerrys

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CashmoneyFollowing a recent audit, it’s come to light that Natural Resources Canada might be able to save trees, but they’re having issues getting a hold on their IT dollars. A cool half-million dollars were spent on 900 BlackBerrys and 720 cell phones within the department over the last year. Just as a point of reference, that works out to $76 per month per BlackBerry, versus $55 in Manitoba’s government. Poor policy work is to blame here, as individuals were given free reign to get their own plans rather than use a bulk corporate deal; there was also no differentiating personal from business use on said plans. Now that Natural Resources have been caught with their pants down, they’re hurriedly getting a policy together which, in the bureaucratic time zone, means nothing will happen until September. Saving on straight-up wireless costs is one good reason to have a policy in place, but there’s also growing concern that legal issues with BlackBerry-based overtime may arise if the proper HR policies aren’t set up.