Approving, Ordering, and Using Cellular Services

Tags phone cell

Audience

Employees

Question

How do I approve, order, and start using cellular services at BSU/NTC?

Answer

A GUIDE TO APPROVING, ORDERING, AND USING CELLULAR SERVICES

FAQs – Employees

I am an employee and I think I need a business cell phone. What is the process to obtain one?

• In order to receive a state-paid cell phone, your supervisor and Vice President must review your job responsibilities and certify your eligibility. See System Procedure 5.22.2 and the form entitled “Initial Authorization / Annual Review for Cellular Devices and Plans”. The supervisor and authorized administrator will determine your eligibility.

• After you are certified as eligible for a cell phone, email helpdesk@bemidjistate.edu requesting a cell phone.

May I use my state-provided cell phone for personal use?

Generally. Personal use of a cellular device and plan issued under System Procedure 5.22.2 is prohibited. Personal use may result in revocation of the employee’s cellular device and plan usage. Except in the case of an essential use, the employee is subject to disciplinary action for the unauthorized use of the cellular device or plan. A call is considered essential if the employee establishes that the personal call was:

  • an unsolicited and isolated incoming call; or
  • of minimum duration, urgent in nature, and could not have been made from a different telephone.

Personal calls while on travel status. Certain bargaining agreements or compensation plans provide that an employee in travel status overnight may claim expense reimbursement for actual personal telephone calls up to a defined limit. Employees who are issued a cellular device may make limited personal calls in lieu of claiming such reimbursement for calls while in travel status.

I sometimes use my personal cell phone for state business. May I be reimbursed for part of my monthly bill?

Occasional business call expenses made from an employee’s personal cellular device are eligible for reimbursement if the employee has incremental costs directly attributable to the business calls. Incremental costs are actual verifiable costs that are separately identified for each state call in excess of the standard monthly service fee.

Reimbursement will be made only if the business calls were reasonable and caused the employee to exceed the employee’s plan minutes. For example, if the personal plan is for 1000 minutes and in a given month the employee uses 950 personal and 100 business minutes, the employee would only be eligible for reimbursement for the incremental costs associated with the 50 minutes that exceeded the plan.

If the next month under the same plan the employee had 900 personal and 100 business minutes, the employee would not to be entitled to reimbursement because the business calls made did not cause the employee to incur additional (incremental) costs on the employee’s phone bill.

To qualify for reimbursement, an employee must prepare an Employee Expense Report and submit the documentation (a copy of the service contract, a copy of the bill, and notations as to who was called and the business purpose of each business call). The employee’s supervisor must review the documentation and sign the report. If reimbursement requests are routinely submitted, the supervisor should consider the assignment of a cellular device to the individual employee.

I have a personal cell phone that I use for business purposes. My cell phone has a fixed-rate (unlimited) data plan for my personal use. In addition to the personal use, I use the data plan for work purposes. May I receive reimbursement for part of the monthly data plan?

Employees may only receive reimbursement for occasional, actual expenses related to cell phone use. If you have an unlimited data plan on your personal cell phone, there is no incremental cost to you to use the personal cell phone/data plan for work purposes; thus, you are not entitled to reimbursement. If you have substantial business use, discuss your need for an employer-paid separate phone with your supervisor.

I inadvertently used my state-provided cell phone for a personal call. What corrective steps must I take?

All employees with state-provided cell phones must review the cellular device invoice monthly and identify any use not permitted under System Procedure 5.22.2. Next, the employee must initial the invoice and submit it to the employee’s supervisor to review and approve it.

Employees must reimburse the state for all personal calls at the rate of 40 cents per minute. A check for reimbursement must be attached to the monthly cell phone invoice highlighting any personal use. Send them to Marie Bock #8 Deputy 204.

 

FAQs – SUPERVISORS

1. What is the approval process for issuance of a cell phone to an employee (or to add voice, text, or data service)?

• The supervisor of an employee requesting the device and plan must determine if the employee meets the threshold eligibility requirements contained in System Procedure 5.22.2 (see form: “Initial Authorization / Annual Review for Cellular Devices and Plans”).

• The employee’s respective Vice President must approve the request.

• Documentation to support the decision to issue the device and plan must be retained by the appropriate campus administrative unit consistent with records retention standards and be available for review and audit.

2. What is the procurement process for phones and plans?

All devices and plans must be procured under the state or system negotiated contracts. Devices and plans currently in use which are not under the state or system negotiated contracts must be transitioned at next available opportunity.  The actual ordering of the phone and plan is done by an authorized coordinator.

3. How often do I need to review invoices of employer-provided phones?

Monthly review of invoices is required. All employees with state-provided cell phones must review the cellular device invoice monthly and identify any use not permitted under System Procedure 5.22.2. Next, the employee must initial the invoice and submit it to the employee’s supervisor to review and approve it.

Note: Personal use of a cellular device and plan issued under Procedure 5.22.2 is prohibited. Personal use may result in revocation of the employee’s cellular device and plan usage. Except in the case of an essential use, the employee is subject to disciplinary action for the unauthorized use of the cellular device or plan. A call is considered essential if the employee establishes that the personal call was:

  • an unsolicited and isolated incoming call; or
  • of minimum duration, urgent in nature, and could not have been made from a different telephone.

4. What are my other responsibilities as a supervisor?

Annual review of continued need for device plan, and level of service is required. The employee’s supervisor and Vice President annually must review and document the continued business need for the device and plan (see form: “Initial Authorization / Annual Review for Cellular Devices and Plans”).

OGC / Compliance July 2010
Updated Locally 8-23-2011

Details

Article ID: 1407
Created
Mon 12/6/21 9:51 AM
Modified
Mon 12/6/21 9:51 AM