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Wireless Phone Policy - 6B2

  1. Introduction

    The university will generally no longer provide wireless phone service for the use of individual employees. Instead, eligible employees may receive additional compensation, in the form of a wireless phone allowance, to cover the cost of business-related calls on their personal wireless phone. Employees who are not eligible for a wireless phone allowance may be reimbursed for business calls on their personal wireless phones.

  2. Wireless Phone Allowance

    1. Eligible employees may receive additional compensation, in the form of a wireless phone allowance, to cover the cost of business-related calls on their personal wireless phone. Please view the Wireless Phone Allowance Request Form for additional information.

    2. Employees who do not receive a wireless phone allowance may be reimbursed for business calls on their personal wireless phones.

    3. Eligibility for Wireless Phone Allowance

      1. The university may provide a wireless phone allowance to an employee if at least one of the following criteria is met:

        1. The job requires considerable time outside the office and it is important to the university that the employee be immediately accessible to receive and/or make frequent business calls during those times.

        2. The job requires the employee to be immediately accessible to receive and/or make frequent business calls outside of working hours.

        3. Job duties away from the office may expose the employee or others to immediate harm or danger (e.g., visits to homes of patients or clients).

      2. Simple convenience is not sufficient. Eligibility is based on necessity, frequency and safety, not title or position.

      3. The allowance will be charged to an account specified by the employee's fiscal officer, who must ensure availability of funding. Thus, departmental eligibility criteria can be more (but not less) restrictive than the university criteria stated above.

      4. The wireless phone allowance must be approved by the fiscal officer, dean/director, and Vice Chancellor.

      5. Failure to comply with this policy can result in suspension of system access privileges.

    4. Wireless Phone Allowance Amount

      1. The wireless phone allowance is the approved rate per month. This is taxable income to the employee. (Note-the amount was established considering the additional taxes that the employee will have to pay on the allowance.) The allowance is intended to reimburse the employee for the business use of the phone, not to pay the entire phone bill, under the assumption that most employees also use their wireless phone for personal calls.

      2. Generally, the assumption is that only voice communications are required. If significant texting or data usage is required, then a request to increase the default allowance may be made.

      3. The amount of the allowance may be increased if justified by greater voice or data usage needs and if approved by the Vice Chancellor. Documentation for the amount (such as previous phone bills) and for the necessity (as opposed to convenience) of the greater usage should be submitted in order to demonstrate the need for a higher allowance.

      4. The allowance is not an entitlement-the amount can be changed or withdrawn without notice at any time.

      5. The wireless phone allowance is not part of base pay used for SURS purposes or for calculating percentage salary increases.

      6. The university will generally not pay for the phone instrument itself. The phone will belong to the employee, not to the university. The university will not pay for activation or other fees.

    5. Employee and University Responsibilities

      1. The employee must sign the Wireless Phone Allowance Request Form, thereby certifying that he/she will provide the phone number within five days of activation and will be available for calls (in possession of the phone and have it turned on) during those times specified by management.

      2. The employee may select any wireless carrier whose service meets the requirements of the job responsibilities as determined by the fiscal officer. In most cases, the employee may select the wireless carrier and plan features of his/her choice.

      3. The employee must inform the university to discontinue the allowance when the eligibility criteria are no longer met or when the wireless service is cancelled.

      4. Management may periodically request that the employee provide a copy of the first page of the phone bill in order to verify that he/she has an active wireless phone plan. Management may also periodically request documentation of substantial business use.

      5. The employee is responsible for all charges on his/her personal wireless plan, including Early Termination Fees. If the employee leaves the position, he/she continues to be responsible for the contractual obligations of his/her wireless plan.

      6. It is the employee's responsibility to comply with state and municipal laws regarding the use of wireless phones while driving.

      7. Users of SIUE services accessed via mobile electronic devices must ensure that information and information technology assets in their custody or control are protected. Wireless transmissions are not secure and employees should use discretion and privacy best practices in accessing confidential information on wireless devices.

      8. The Payroll Department will keep approved Wireless Phone Allowance Request Forms on file and available for internal or external audit.

      9. In the event of theft or loss of a device used to access SIUE confidential information, the SIUE ITS helpdesk should be contacted immediately.

      10. Extraordinary business use of an employee's personal wireless phone in excess of the monthly allowance can be reimbursed with appropriate documentation.

      11. Vice Chancellors can approve exceptions to this policy.

      12. All electronic computing and storage devices considered a high likelihood risk factor for loss or theft that access the SIUE intranet and are possibly exposed to SIUE high risk and confidential data must be compliant with SIUE Information Security Policies and Standards (2D2),

  3. Employees Who Do Not Receive a Wireless Phone Allowance

    1. Employees who do not receive a wireless phone allowance may be reimbursed for necessary business calls made with their personal wireless phone with appropriate documentation. Reimbursement will be available only to the extent that the plan's anytime minutes are exceeded. Reimbursement will be computed using average cost per minute.

    2. Divide the total monthly bill by the total number of minutes used that month to derive a per-minute charge.

    3. Multiply the per-minute charge by the number of necessary business minutes that month to the extent that they exceed the plan's anytime minutes.

    4. Attach to an AP Invoice Distribution Form the calculations and a copy of the wireless phone bill highlighting the business calls. Indicate the business purpose of those calls. Send to Accounts Payable.

    5. Under IRS rules, the reimbursement request must be received within sixty days of receipt of the bill or the reimbursement will be considered taxable income and added to the employee's W-2.

    6. Most wireless carriers offer a discount to state employees. This discount is available to all employees, including those who are not eligible for a wireless phone allowance. Contact carriers for more information.

  4. University-Provided Phones

    1. With the approval of a Vice Chancellor, the university may pay for wireless phone service in certain limited circumstances-e.g., phones that rotate among catering truck drivers or maintenance supervisors. No personal calls are allowed on university-provided phones. They should generally not be assigned to a specific individual or taken home on a regular basis.

    2. Fiscal officers must submit a University-Provided Wireless Phone Plan Request Form and have it approved by the dean/director and Vice Chancellor.

    3. Information Technology Services will keep approved University-Provided Wireless Phone Plan Request Forms on file and available for internal or external audit.

    4. Fiscal officers should review the monthly bills of university-provided phones to ensure that no personal calls were made. Inadvertent or emergency personal calls must be reimbursed to the university at the approved rate per minute.

  5. Special Rules for Grant Accounts

    1. Only "direct costs" can be charged to grants and contracts. Therefore, the wireless phone allowance cannot be charged to grant accounts. Potential alternatives include:

      1. Charge a wireless phone allowance to a non-grant account,

      2. Charge to the grant account calls directly related to the grant or project made with the employee's personal wireless phone (see Section III), or

      3. Charge a university-provided wireless phone plan (see Section IV) to the grant account provided that only calls directly related to that specific grant (and no personal calls) are allowed.

    2. Charges related to alternatives 2 and 3 above must be approved by the Office of Research and Projects.

    3. Equipment (e.g., phone instrument) charges cannot be charged to grant accounts.

Approved by Chancellor effective 5/26/16
This policy was issued on June 15, 2016, replacing the May 21, 2007 version.
Document Reference: 6B2
Origin: OC 4/27/07; OC 5/26/16

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