Policy No. 607
Areas: Finance Department, Information Technology Services
Description: Cell Phone/Communications Device Policy
There are two acquisition methods for cellular phones detailed below or as separately negotiated. The respective Dean decides which method is appropriate for each eligible employee.
Method One: College-Provided Device
The respective Dean determines that an employee’s duties necessitate the provision of a communications device. The communications device must be essential for the employee to properly perform his or her required duties and will be used exclusively for business purposes.
After submitting a Cell Phone Authorization Request and obtaining approval from the Dean, the employee would be given a College-owned cellular phone issued through the Dean of Information Technology’s office. The monthly service fee will be paid by the College. The device is the property of the College. The College-owned cell phone must be used only for College-related business calls. If a personal call is inadvertently made or received, restitution must be made to the College prior to the next billing cycle.
Employees are responsible for the safekeeping, care and custody of the communications device assigned to them. Cellular phones may not be transferred to any other individual. In the event of a reported loss, stolen or fraudulent use of the assigned phone, the employee must immediately notify the Dean of Information Technology’s office for further action.
Employees, assigned College-owned communication devices, are warned that call detail records generated from assigned devices are considered business records of the College. All charges for communications devices provided by the college are subject to audit for personal use. Audits may be conducted periodically and will be unannounced. It is the responsibility of the employee to substantiate business use.
Atlantic Cape reserves the right to terminate the employee’s cell phone or to switch an employee to the allowance method (method two) if excessive personal calls are made.
Use of College-owned equipment is based on the employee’s job duties and may be discontinued if the employee’s responsibilities change. The employee must return the device to the College when it is no longer needed and/or the employee ends employment with the department.
Method Two: Allowance Method
Atlantic Cape realizes that communication devices can enhance the job performance of certain employees. Because the IRS substantiation requirements are time-consuming and administratively costly, eligible employees will receive a taxable allowance for an individually owned cell phone or device. Administrators and staff whose positions require the frequent need for a communications device may receive a taxable allowance to cover business related costs associated with owning the device.
The allowance will be paid quarterly after the approval of the respective Dean. Allowances will be paid as part of the employee’s regular paycheck and the cost will be charged to the employee’s respective departmental account. The allowance is taxable income. Therefore, the employee will be taxed in accordance with IRS regulations. Payment of such taxes is the responsibility of the employee. The allowance is supplemental pay and is not part of the employee’s base pay.
The phones are the property of the employee and the plan with the carrier is between the carrier and the employee, not the College. Since these phones are the property of the employee, they may be used for personal calls. Termination of employment with the College does not release the employee of their financial obligation to the carrier.
Under this method there will be no monthly documentation requirement for the employee to track and substantiate business versus personal use.
Administration of Allowance
The respective Dean should use his/ her knowledge of the employee’s duties and budget considerations to determine if an employee is eligible for a cell phone allowance. All allowances must be covered by the department’s budget and all allowances are taxable. An annual review should be performed by each Dean to determine if existing allowances should be continued.
Atlantic Cape reserves the right to discontinue an employee’s allowance if there is insufficient budget to meet the cost of the quarterly allowances or if the employee’s duties no longer qualify for a cell phone allowance.
If a Dean deems it appropriate for an employee in his/her department to receive a cell phone allowance, the Dean is to provide written authorization (see form attached). Each employee must provide a copy of a recent (no older than two months) cell phone invoice to document an existing cell phone plan.
Once the Cell Phone Authorization Request is complete, the department should initiate an Assignment Form to pay the employee a quarterly stipend (paid in March, June, September and December). The quarterly stipend will be determined annually. The completed Assignment Form along with a copy of the signed Cell Phone Authorization Request should be sent to the Human Resources Department for processing. (Reminder: appropriate payroll taxes on the amount of the allowance will be withheld from the employee’s paycheck and the amount of the allowance will be included as wages on the employee’s year-end W-2)
A new Assignment Form should be generated each fiscal year if the allowance remains applicable. A copy of a recent cell phone invoice should accompany the Assignment Form.
Compliance with Laws
Regardless of whether an employee acquires a cell phone under method one or two above, Atlantic Cape requires employees to comply with all applicable laws while driving.
Use of the phone or device in any manner contrary to local, state or federal laws will result in the immediate termination of the cell phone allowance or removal of the College-owned equipment.
Cell Phone costs charged to Grants
Charges to a grant account for cellular telephones must comply with the grant terms.
1. When direct costs of instruction for courses, credit or non-credit, are properly classified as current unrestricted expenditures these costs are to be directly incurred by the college and the related credit and equivalent credit hours are eligible to be counted in determining State support, except as restricted by other policies and regulations.
2. Direct costs of instruction will be developed by course. The direct costs are:
- Salaries and benefits of instructors and paraprofessionals paid for the teaching and grading of courses;
- Educational supplies used directly by the teacher or the students of a course; and
- Contract educational services which are employed for a specific course.
3. When direct costs of instruction for courses, credit or non-credit, are properly classified according to the guidelines referenced above, as expenditures of the current restricted fund (expenditures restricted to specific purposes by outside sources), the costs are not incurred directly by the college and the related credit-hour and equivalent credit-hour enrollments are not eligible to be counted in determining State support.
4. Where the total direct costs of instruction of an otherwise non- fundable course exceed the amount of restricted funds available for the course, the excess cost is considered as expended form the current unrestricted fund and a percentage of the credit-hour enrollments generated by the course are fundable. This percentage is equal to the proportion of direct expenditures not covered by the grant or contract divided by the total direct costs of the course.
Acquisition Methods for Cellular Phones (No. 607.1)
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