Utah Valley University
Policies and Procedures
|Title||Telephone and Cellular Phone Usage||Number||329|
|Section||Human Resources||Approval Date||Jun 08,2006|
|Subsection||Conditions of Employment||Effective Date||Jun 08,2006|
- To outline UVU's policy and procedure regarding telephone usage in order to bring UVU into compliance with state and federal policies, to insure an accurate audit trail, and to limit institutional liability.
- The institution's telephone systems and equipment are
provided for the conduct of official business. Use of these facilities for
personal business should be kept to a minimum. Personal usage should be
- Long distance and other toll calls for private business made through the institution's telephone system should be charged to the individual's home telephone or personal calling card. If this is not possible, a record of private calls made at institutional expense must be kept and repayment to the Cashier’s Office must be made upon receipt of the department’s telephone bill. Supervisors are responsible to prevent abuse and ensure that repayment is made.
- If an employee requires a cellular phone in order to perform his/her duties, the employee, with approval of the department head, will obtain a personal cellular access plan and cellular phone and will receive an allowance from the institution via additional compensation, within approved limits. The additional compensation must be justified by business requirements which necessitate the use of a cellular telephone to perform official institutional business where such business cannot be accommodated by the use of a land line phone, pager, or other less expensive communication device. The cellular telephone is owned by the employee and may be used for personal business. The approved allowance amount must be based on business requirements. The employee may, at their own expense, elect to purchase additional service(s). Approved procedures must be followed when providing additional compensation for this purpose.
- Institutional departments shall not purchase or own cellular
telephones except in those circumstances where employee ownership of the
cellular plan and telephone is not practicable as determined by the department
head and only with approval of the appropriate Vice President. Institution owned
cellular telephones provided for the conduct of official business shall not be
used for personal business.
- IRS published authority defines requirements for adequate substantiation of the business use of institutionally owned cellular telephones. Unsubstantiated cellular use may be deemed personal use and therefore considered wages subject to employment taxes.
- Adequate substantiation of business use includes the time, date, place, business purpose, and amount of the expense. Substantiation of business use should be in the format of a record or log made at or near the time the telephone call was placed.
- An employee shall repay the institution for incoming and outgoing personal use of an institutionally owned cellular phone. The reimbursement amount shall include direct charges for personal use and a pro rata share of monthly fees and services. Supervisors are responsible to prevent abuse and ensure that repayment is made
- If a department or individual user is not able or
willing to comply with IRS substantiation requirements for institutionally owned
cellular services and devices, the department or individual must use the
individual ownership option described in paragraph 1.B.
- Employees shall not use cellular telephones to conduct the business of Utah Valley University while operating a motor vehicle.
owned cellular plans and devices with reimbursement from the institution in the
form of additional compensation.
an employee requires a cellular phone in order to perform his/her duties, the
employee, with approval of the department head, will obtain a personal cellular
access plan and cellular phone and will receive an allowance from the institution
via additional compensation, within approved limits. The additional
compensation must be justified by business requirements which necessitate the
use of a cellular telephone to perform official institutional business where such
business cannot be accommodated by the use of a land line phone, pager, or
other less expensive communication device. Approved procedures must be followed
when providing additional compensation for this purpose."
- Department heads must determine what type of plan or level of service is required in the performance of an employee’s duties. The employee is responsible for obtaining a phone and monthly plan that, at a minimum, meets the level of service required by the department. Because the telephone is owned by the employee, it may be used for personal and business use, but must be available for the performance of responsibilities as designated by the department head. The employee may obtain a larger plan if needed for personal use, but will only receive the amount agreed upon for business use. Bills for the cellular plan and device are the responsibility of the individual, not the department.
- Department heads may select a monthly allowance from four allowance levels. The selection must be based on actual business use. The allowed amounts are twenty (20), forty (40), sixty (60), and eighty (80) dollars. Amounts greater than eighty (80) are allowed if approved by the appropriate Vice President or Dean. If extraordinary business use results in a billed amount that is significantly more than the allowance amount, reimbursement may be sought through expense reimbursement procedures. Allowances received by the employee will be reported as taxable wages.
- The department may contribute toward the activation of a cellular service plan and the purchase of upgrade of a communication device, if such purchase or upgrade is necessary for the performance of the employee’s job duties. The department may also contribute toward the replacement of aging or non-functioning devices, provided the employee’s job responsibilities continue to require the use of a cellular device at the time of replacement. All such contributions will be reported as taxable wages. The employee will own the device. Contribution toward the purchase or upgrade of a communication device should be sufficient to purchase a device required for the performance of the employee’s duties. The employee may select a more expensive device but will not receive a contribution in excess of what is required to perform his/her duties.
- Because the entire institution contribution toward the communication device and plan is wages to the employee treated as taxable income, no detailed documentation of personal or business calls is required.
- The institution contribution toward the communication device and plan is not considered an entitlement, is not part of an employee’s base salary, and may be changed and/or withdrawn by the institution at any time. It will be paid in monthly installments from departmental funds as authorized by the department head.
- Departments should weigh the added cost of reimbursing
an employee for cellular service, i.e. increased institutional employment taxes, to
the savings, i.e. release from administrative time spent on cellular usage
substantiation requirements. The additional compensation must be justified by
business requirements which necessitate the use of a cellular telephone to
perform official institution business where such business cannot be accommodated by
the use of a land line phone, pager, or other less expensive communication
device. Approved procedures must be followed when providing additional
compensation for this purpose.
- Departments are responsible for determining the budgetary impact of this program, and to determine whether or not an employee’s job requires use of cellular service. The institutional contribution toward the purchase of personally owned services must be directly linked to the employee’s job duties and responsibilities.
- Department heads are responsible for determining and approving the appropriate allowance amount for an employee based on the responsibilities of the employee’s position. The determination should include the appropriate number of plan minutes, long distance calling options, data plans, and other plan features that are required for the performance of the employee’s job responsibilities.
- Institutional contributions for employee owned service are not to be based on a particular title or position. Use should be based on the actual job requirements of a faculty or staff member. For example, one individual with a “Computer Administrator” title may perform their work entirely in a campus office and is never on call. Another person with the same position may work entirely in the field and/or may be on call after hours. Supervisors, with the approval of department heads, are responsible for determining when cellular services are warranted.
- The employee and the manager/supervisor must sign an agreement that justifies the business need for a cell phone which outlines the requirements that the employee will obtain a phone and service plan that meets department requirements, and make it available when needed (as defined by the department, i.e., for on call use).
- For employee owned devices and plans, copies of the approval forms/agreements used to process institution contributions, as well as receipts or other valid evidence of purchase, shall be retained by the department for seven years.
- Approval forms, agreements, telephone bills, and
documentation records must be retained for internal or external audit purposes,
and should be reviewed annually.
- Recommended Vendors/Service Plans
- Departments and employees should, where possible, purchase telephone plans that are available from approved vendors participating in institution, state or regional (WSCA) contracts. In most cases, contracted discounts are available to employees, however, the employee discount amounts may vary, depending on the selected vendor.
- Notwithstanding 3.a., an employee may purchase any
communication device or service plan that meets the job requirements specified
by the supervisor or department head, regardless of price; however, the
employee will be responsible for any additional expenses above the institutional
contribution approved by the department.
- Employee Responsibilities
- The employee is responsible for the selection of and enrollment in a communication service plan. The plan must, at a minimum, cover the requirements identified by the supervisor and approved by the department head. The employee may select service from any vendor whose service meets the requirements of the employee’s job responsibilities as determined by the supervisor and approved by the department head.
- An employee receiving an institutional contribution for cellular service must provide his/her department with the phone and/or PDA number of the communication device within five working days of activation.
- The employee must be able to demonstrate that the monthly bill is at least the amount of the institutional contribution. If the monthly bill does not, on average, equal or exceed the amount of the contribution, the supervisor may adjust the amount of the contribution to reflect the lower bill amount or may discontinue the contribution to the employee’s cellular service.
- The employee is personally responsible for complying with any contract entered into with a communication service provider including payment of all expenses incurred (including long distance, roaming fees, and taxes.) In the event that an employee leaves the position, he/she continues to be responsible for the contractual obligations of the cellular service plan.
- An employee receiving an institutional contribution toward the purchase of cellular devices or services must notify his/her department head within five working days of the inactivation of communication service or of the loss or theft of the communication device.