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Video conferencing helped save $30m

Use of video conferencing services and tighter rules on travel has saved the Ontario government $30 million, News.Ontario.ca reported.

Government employee expenses were reduced by 24 percent, and it is thought that a further $10 million will be saved in 2011.

As part of the ‘Open Ontario Plan’, the government is trying to reduce waste, emissions and make savings that can be used in schools and on health care. They aim to eliminate the state deficit completely by employing these methods in the next seven years.

The government has imposed new rules and compulsory training for staff, urging them to find alternatives to travel and reduce travel expenses. The use of video conferencing facilities has minimised the need for employees to travel, saving an incredible 22,525 hours of travel time.

Reports have suggested that the government has made savings of $7.1 million from reduced accommodation, $6.2 million from air travel, $6.2 million from road travel, $1.4 million from meal expenses and £9.1 million saved in other travel-related expenses.

Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance, said: “Ontario families are managing responsibly, eliminating waste in the budgets and focusing on priorities and we are too.”

“This is one example of how we’re saving money to reduce the deficit and protect the gains we’re making in our schools and health care.”