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Policies and Procedures

AIT 111

Number:  AIT 111
Section: Information Technology
Subject: Cell Phone Stipend Policy
Date: June 27, 2011
Revised: October 25, 2012
Issued by: Vice Chancellor for Information Technology/CIO
Authorized by: Vice Chancellor for Information Technology/CIO

 

BACKGROUND

In an effort to eliminate high-minute cell phone plans and the inefficiencies that are inherent to them USC Aiken offers a taxable stipend for personal communication services to employees whose work-related duties and responsibilities require them to maintain such services.

I. POLICY

This policy allows a University Vice Chancellor to authorize a taxable communication allowance for employees who need a cell phone to carry out their University-related responsibilities. Simple convenience is not a criterion for an allowance. An allowance may be authorized if at least one of the following criteria is met:

• The job function of the employee requires them to be outside of their assigned office or work area 50% or more and an immediate response is required when contacted.

• The job function of the employee requires them to be accessible (on-call) outside of scheduled or normal working hours.

• The employee is a critical university decision maker who needs to be immediately accessible.

• Efficiency and productivity gains cover the cost of the allowance. Business case will be required prior to assignment.

A. Scope and Applicability

This policy is applicable to faculty and staff of USC Aiken as referenced in the specific procedures and guidelines outlined below. Departmental cell phones are excluded from this policy. The policy for use of departmental cell phones is covered in USC System policy IT 1.06.

B. Definitions

1. A stipend or allowance as referred to in this document is a reimbursement paid directly to the employee from the University.

2. A cell phone as referred to in this document can be a cell phone or smart device.

3. A shared departmental or shift cell phone is one that may be shared by multiple employees while on duty, does not leave the campus after duty ends and is turned in by each employee at the end of his/her shift.

4. A departmental cell phone is issued to an employee under a special set of circumstances as determined by the supervisor. It may leave the campus with the employee.

5. CSD is an acronym for Computer Services Division.

II. PROCEDURE

A. Approval of Allowance

Employees whose duties and responsibilities require the use of a cell phone are eligible for a communication allowance. A communication allowance may be assigned using the Communication Allowance Request Form. The form must be approved by the appropriate Vice Chancellor, or designee, and forwarded to Campus Support Services for processing of the allowance.

B. Determination of Allowance Amount

The dollar amount of the communication allowance should approximate the employees anticipated business related expenses only. Management should use the following schedule to determine the appropriate allowance:

1. Voice Plan Tier 1 $25.00 - Low Use (100 to 500 min. university use)

2. Voice Plan Tier 2 $40.00 - Medium Use (500 min. or more university use)

3. Data Package $30.00 (One Rate)

4. Other (e.g. Text) $__.__ (VC Approval Required)

The employee is responsible for the purchase of the cell phone to be used for basic service. Costs for cosmetic or technical extras that have no business purpose are the responsibility of the employee. The dollar allowance per tier established by this policy will be reviewed annually by Campus Support Services and CSD. Initial allowances are based on pricing currently available with various wireless providers as incentive pricing to USCA employees.

C. Establishing the Allowance

Complete the Communication Allowance Request Form. Fill out the form completely, obtain the appropriate signatures and forward the form to Campus Support Services.

D. Payment

The communication allowance is processed through Campus Support Services and paid through DEV directly to the employee on a monthly basis.

E. Using the Communication Service

The cell phone is personally owned by the employee and may therefore be used for both personal and business use. An employee with a communication allowance must maintain an active cell phone contract for the life of the allowance. Cell phone misuse - using it in ways inconsistent with USC system policy IT 1.06 or with local, state or federal laws - will result in immediate cancellation of the communication allowance.

F. Documentation and Review Requirements

A copy of the completed Communication Allowance Request Form must be kept on file in the employee's department. The employee's supervisor is responsible for an annual review of the business need for a communication allowance to determine if allowances should be changed or discontinued. If an employee is terminated, resigns, transfers or is no longer eligible for a communication allowance, the employee's supervisor must notify Campus Support Services to cancel the allowance.

G. Contract Changes or Cancellations

If, prior to the end of a cell phone contract, a personal decision, employee misconduct, or misuse of the phone results in the need to change or end the cell phone contract, the employee will bear the cost of any associated contract termination fees. If, prior to the end of the cell phone contract period, a University decision is made (unrelated to employee misconduct) which results in the need to change or end the cell phone contract, the University will bear the cost of any associated contract termination fees. If an employee is on an extended leave, the department might consider temporarily discontinuing the stipend.

H. Sensitive or Protected Data

Access to USCA sensitive or protected data and distribution of sensitive or protected data through an employee's personal communication device is subject to USC policy IT 3.00 and state and federal laws. Access to and distribution of such information is only authorized if it is within the scope of the employee’s job duties at USCA. When the employee’s employment ends for any reason, all sensitive or protected data retained on the cell phone must be returned to USCA and permanently removed from your device. CSD can assist with this process.