The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spends roughly $123.2 million per year to provide "email services" for its 70,000 employees, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Buried in a footnote of a recently released GAO report on the agency’s coordination with the nonprofit group Enroll America, the congressional watchdog detailed the high operating costs associated with running the department’s email.
Recent Stories in Issues
"HHS told us that HHS pays $146.64 per month per user for email; that this charge covers connectivity, storage, and other e-mail services; and that this charge is independent of the number of emails that are sent or received," the GAO said.
According to the Cato Institute, HHS employs approximately 70,000 people.
Assuming each employee has a government email address, the agency pays $10,264,800 per month for its email services. The cost per year runs to $123,177,600.
The report also noted that HHS pays $10.44 each month "per telephone line" for the HHS secretary, though it is unclear how many government lines former Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had.
"Each phone call, whether local or long distance, is charged at a unit cost of $0.014 per minute," the GAO said.
The report revealed that Sebelius, along with a White House official, solicited donations from private health care companies to promote Obamacare, which may have violated federal law.