Telecommunications

Effective Date: 07/01/99

Policy Statement 6: Cellular Telephone Policies and Procedures


General Statement

All cellular telephones, regardless of source of funding, provided by the University for business use by East Carolina University employees are considered the property of East Carolina University. These cellular telephones are provided on an as-needed basis for handling official University business. Given the relative higher costs related to cellular telephone calls vs. conventional phones, cellular phones should not be used when more economical means of communicating are reasonably available. Cellular telephones are provided for the exclusive use of the employee(s) to which they are assigned and will not be released for use by others without proper authority.

Prohibited Usage

The use of University cellular telephones for personal calls (not directly associated with official University business) is expressly prohibited except in emergency circumstances (as determined by the department) or other unpreventable instances (e.g., incoming calls for which charges are also assessed). Employees must notify their supervisor of any such emergency call made on the University's cellular phone and must reimburse the University for the related cost. A written record of such personal calls should be maintained.

New Service

New cellular service will be requested by utilizing a Telephone Service request (TC-I Rev. 10/86). The Department Head who has authority over the account from which funds will be drawn to pay for this service must approve this request. Requests for new service on the east campus will be forwarded directly to the Director of Operations CIS. Request for service from School of Medicine departments will be forwarded to the Director of Business Affairs at the School of Medicine. Service can be expected within two (2) weeks from the date the request is received.

Control

The custodian of record for all cellular telephones on the east campus shall be the Department Head(s) who has authority over the account(s) from which funds are drawn to pay for that service. The custodian for cellular telephones in the Division of Health Sciences is the Division of Health Sciences Business Affairs Office. The custodian of record may "sub-custody" these cellular telephones to employees within his department through the use of Form P-88 (Property Assignment Form). Employees (end users) who are assigned cellular telephones are directly responsible for the appropriate use and safeguarding of the instrument.

Termination of Service

Service no longer required shall be terminated, recognizing that there may still be a period of time left under the original contract that must be paid. The custodian of record shall request termination of service and recover the cellular telephone when the employee(s), (end users) terminates employment, transfers, or under any other circumstance that results in loss of control by the custodian of record. Termination of service will be requested by the custodian of record utilizing a Telephone Service Request, following the procedures outlines in "New Service". Once service has been terminated and the cellular telephone recovered, the cellular telephone will remain the property of the owning department and held in an inactive status until reactivation is required.

Billing

Billing for service from the local provider will occur monthly. All individual instruments assigned to various accounts will be itemized on one monthly bill and sent to the Department of Telecommunications Services for internal distribution. Accounts assigned to the School of Medicine will be separated and forwarded for internal distribution by the Director of Business Affairs at the School of Medicine. The Department of Telecommunications Services and the Office of Business Affairs for the School of Medicine will be responsible for the internal distribution of this bill. A copy of the itemized bill will be provided to each Department Head reflecting all charges levied against the account code(s) under his cognizance. This copy shall be reviewed and signed by both the end user and the Department Head, certifying and approving that "all calls were made for official University business". The approved and certified copy of the bill shall be kept on file in the department for not less than 24 months. Reimbursement by East Campus departments to the Department of Telecommunications Services will be accomplished via account transfer of funds reflecting actual charges plus 10% administrative handling fee. Likewise, SOM departments will process their bills through Business Affairs - SOM (without any administrative charge).

Suspect Calls

Department heads identifying calls that are questionable in nature, such as extremely long calls, or calls believed to be of a personal nature, should review these calls with the responsible user. The department head, after consultation with the Unit or Division head, should refer these suspect calls to the Director of Operations - CIS for East Campus or the Director of Business Affairs for SOM. Results of this investigation will be returned to the Department Head for appropriate action. Appropriate action might include disciplinary action under SPA guidelines or faculty procedures, referral to University Counsel (for fraud) or referral to Internal Auditor if further investigation is required.

Reimbursement for Personal Calls

Although prohibited, the use of State contracted cellular service for handling of personal business may, on occasion, be necessary due to an emergency. Reimbursement for personal calls will be maintained on the honor system, with each individual responsible, for identifying those calls that were of a personal nature and, therefore, subject to reimbursement. It must be remembered that usage on the State contracted cellular system constitutes both transmit and receive, therefore, incoming personal calls are subject to reimbursement also. Reimbursement shall be at a cost plus 20% administrative handling fee. The Department of Telecommunications Services and the Office of Business Affairs for the School of Medicine will not accept reimbursement for personal calls. Individuals needing to reimburse the University for personal calls should identify those calls to his/her Department Head and provide a check payable to ECU with the attached transmittal form. The checks will be deposited in accordance with established University procedures.

Written Records

If reimbursements for personal calls must be made, it is highly recommended that a written record be maintained by the cellular phone user denoting date, time and nature of call (personal or business related) for both incoming and outgoing calls. This written record can then be utilized by the Department Head to reconcile the monthly bill and insure proper reimbursement.

Directly Contracted Cellular Service

As with a personal home telephone, the employee assumes personal responsibility for payment to the telephone company of all charges related to service for which he/she contracted directly. Reimbursement may be requested on a monthly basis for business-related calls made through employee contracted service. A copy of the phone bill denoting business-related calls must be submitted for reimbursement, however, personal call information should be marked out for privacy. No reimbursement shall be made for the cost of the instrument as the instrument for directly contracted service shall remain the property of the user.