Published on May 7, 2024, 2:11 pm

Telecommunications companies in Virginia have been overcharging public sector agencies by a significant amount every month, with the excess charges totaling at least $500,000. To combat this issue, Robert Osmond, the state’s chief information officer, introduced a brokering service through the Virginia Information Technologies Agency. This service is tailored to around 800 public entities such as universities, school districts, utilities, local governments, and rescue squads affiliated with counties.

The brokering service offered by VITA allows these customers to consolidate all their telecommunication services into one bill. According to Osmond, this unique offering by a state government not only saves time but also helps in disputing any erroneous charges on behalf of the customers. One common mistake identified is double-billing, where VITA steps in to reject and dispute such inaccuracies.

Osmond revealed that the monthly overcharges of approximately $500,000 are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential savings for the state. With plans to implement a new system powered by artificial intelligence this summer, Osmond anticipates that monthly savings could soar to $1 million with increased efficiency and detection capabilities for overcharges and unused services.

The upcoming AI system is expected to revolutionize the way billing discrepancies and underutilized services are handled within the public sector. By harnessing AI technology developed collaboratively by VITA, KPMG accounting firm, and Claro AI firm 18 months ago – manual data analytics will be replaced with a more accurate and largely automated process.

Despite initial hesitations due to the complexity and workload involved in providing such sophisticated services, Osmond highlights the importance of taking proactive measures to address inefficiencies within the system. The broad spectrum catalog comprised of 5,700 services from 30 providers posed a challenge but ultimately reinforced VITA’s commitment to delivering a cost-effective solution backed by top-notch services.

In conclusion, Osmond emphasized that without embracing such innovative solutions provided by VITA’s brokering service and fraud-detection mechanisms powered by AI technology – states risk accepting overcharges as part of standard operation costs. Through continuous efforts towards streamlining operations and enhancing cost-efficiency measures like these within government agencies – significant savings can be realized while ensuring optimal utilization of resources.


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