Effective Date: February 24, 2009
Last Reviewed: February 24, 2009


 Purpose

This policy provides guidance regarding eligibility for college paid wireless communication plans and service plan allowances.

 Policy

Stonehill College may provide a wireless communication device and college paid service, or a monthly allowance to those employees who have a documented business need for a communication device. These employees must continue to meet eligibility requirements, as defined by the eligibility guidelines below, to receive communications services or allowances.

Cellular services are not designed nor intended to replace regular college telephone service. Whenever possible, employees should utilize the most cost effective and practical means of communication available.

Definitions

Communications Device

This term includes cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDA) with email capability, and cellular telephone/PDA combinations and any necessary accessories (including batteries, hands-free devices, cases, carrying devices, chargers, and data cabling).

PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)

A handheld device that has the capability to combine computing, telephone/fax, internet and networking features.

Procedures

Justification for eligibility

Official business need is defined as follows:

• Employee is at the vice presidential level or those in positions in salary band F or above. These employees will typically be provided college owned devices with a text plan for emergency notifications.

• Employee must be available 100% of the time for emergency situations. These employees will typically be provided college owned devices with a text plan for emergency notifications.

• Employee is required to be on call for essential services during non-business hours.

College Owned Communication Devices

Divisional Vice Presidents may submit a request for a college paid communications service and device for an employee, or group of employees in the case of a shared device, whose job duties entail an official business need and meet the justification for eligibility. These devices may be assigned to an individual or maintained within the department for “check-out” purposes. For purposes of this policy, personal use of a college provided cell phone of up to 10 minutes per month will be considered “de minimis” and will not require reimbursement to the College.

Allowance for Employee Owned Communications Devices

Department heads may submit a request to monetarily reimburse an employee whose job duties entail an official business need for a portion of the cost of their associated personal monthly plan. In such case, a monetary allowance may be provided for voice service, text messaging, and data, depending upon the business need.

The communication device used by this method is the personal property of the employee and accordingly may be used in any way the employee deems appropriate. Any service contract the employee enters into regarding the acquisition or operation of a communication device acquired by this method is personal to the employee. The college will have no obligation or make any guarantee with respect to such service contract

The communication plan allowance provides a monthly salary supplement intended to reimburse the employee for the business use of the phone and not to pay the entire amount. The assumption is that most employees also use their electronic devices for personal use.

The standard reimbursement rates are contained in the request forms. Employees with a demonstrated business need may be provided an allowance for data usage in addition to the allowance for voice minutes. Documented requirements indicating the official business need for text messaging must also be included on the request form. If the employee has a justified business need for enhanced data or voice service, the division head may recommend an adjustment to the amount of the allowance. Documentation for the amount (such as previous phone bills) of greater usage should be submitted in order to demonstrate the need for a higher allowance. The final and authorizing approval for all requests will be the Vice President of Finance.

Reimbursement for Business Calls

Employees who are not receiving an allowance for communications service may be reimbursed for business calls made using a personal device when plan minutes are exceeded as a result of business related usage. To seek reimbursement for business calls, the employee must submit a completed and approved check requisition form to the Controller’s Office. Additionally, a copy of the applicable billing statement reflecting itemization must accompany the form. Reimbursement applies only to the amount attributable to business calls.

Employees receiving an allowance for communication services may not be reimbursed for business calls except in extraordinary circumstances with the recommendation of the department head and the approval of the Vice President of Finance.

Responsibilities

Department Head

• Verifies eligibility of their staff for a wireless communication device.

• Suggests which of the allowed acquisition methods, college plan, monthly allowance, or actual business call reimbursements, is most appropriate to the employee based on business need.

• Completes a Wireless Communications Device Request form when seeking an allowance or a college owned device.

• Submits completed Wireless Communications Device Request form to their Division Head.

• When a change in an employee’s job responsibilities makes the provision of a wireless communication plan or allowance no longer applicable, notifies the Payroll Office for allowances and the IT Telecommunications Office for a college paid service.

Division Head

• Reviews and confirms business need, eligibly requirements and budget availability.

• Signs Wireless Communications Device Request form for recommended employees and forwards to the VP of Finance.

Vice President of Finance

• Reviews documented business need for communications devices and services and approves allowance payments or college provided plans.

• Forwards approved forms to the IT Telecommunications Office for college plan or Controller’s Office for allowances.

IT Telecommunications Office

• Contracts for all college owned communication devices and services.

• Reviews bills for accuracy, communicates discrepancies and approves payment.

• Periodically recommends new plans and allowance amounts. • Maintains an inventory of all college owned communication devices.

Controller’s Office

• Processes reimbursement for business calls and activation of monthly allowances through the Payroll Office.

Employee

• Notifies the department head within five working days of inactivation of a personal device or conclusion of a job related need to initiate termination of the monthly communication allowance.

• If a college owned device is lost or stolen, notifies the IT Telecommunications Office immediately if the loss occurs during regular college business hours or notifies Verizon Wireless immediately if the loss occurs outside of regular college business hours.

• When expenses are incurred for phone charges related to business activity conducted on a personal cell phone in the absence of an authorized allowance, submits a completed and signed check requisition form along with a copy of the applicable billing statement reflecting itemization of business-related charges.