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Policy Regarding College Provided Cellular Phones

 
 

Introduction

The College’s Policy regarding the personal use of college telephones is consistent with State Ethics rules and regulations and sound business practice. * This policy applies to all College phones including cell phones.  As such, personal calls on a college-provided cell phone must be reimbursed to the college.   As an additional consideration, the Federal Internal Revenue Service considers personal use of an employer-provided cellular phone a fringe benefit which is generally taxable unless the true cost of the call is reimbursed to the employer. 

Policy

Cellular telephones are provided by the campus and the State of New York for professional use in order to accomplish our work.  As such, inappropriate and unreasonable usage of the telephone for personal business is discouraged.  All calls do incur some cost to the College and therefore it is expected that faculty and staff will use discretion and judgment when making or receiving personal calls.  Consistent with Governor Spitzer’s 2007 executive order No. 1, section 4c “state telephones may be used for incidental and necessary personal local calls that are of limited number and duration and do not conflict with the proper exercise of the duties of the State employee.”

As part of the billing system, the College maintains a record of time, destination, duration and cost of all cellular calls.  While the primary purpose of these records is for billing, supervisors may access the records to check for overt or obvious abuse of the telephone.

Cellular phones shall not be used while operating state or personal motor vehicles. The term “used” shall be interpreted as holding a cellular phone to, or in the immediate vicinity of the driver’s ear. Using a hands-free unit or a headset is acceptable.

Procedure

Each month, Telecommunications will send the complete detail of cellular usage to each user and copy the account manager.  The employee is responsible for reviewing this detail, self-identifying personal calls and reimbursing the College within 30 days of receiving the bill via the procedure below.

The following reimbursement procedure has been developed to assist you in complying with both the IRS and our campus personal call policy

  1. Make a copy of the pages of your cellular bill that contain personal calls.
  2. Identify your personal calls by highlighting and/or marking them.
  3. Calculate the cost of your personal calls as outlined below.
  4. Return the highlighted copy to the Telecom Office, Milne Library B220 with a check made payable to SUNY Telecom.

For many of its cell phones the College subscribes to calling plans which provide an allowance of minutes per month for a flat fee, with an additional charge per minute for calls exceeding the monthly allowance. The average cost for all cell phone calls under these plans is currently 8.4¢/minute.   Consequently, all personal calls, including evening and weekend calls and calls within the monthly plan allowance, should be reimbursed at the rate of 8.4 cents per minute. 

On cellular plans where the costs of calls are itemized on the bill, you are responsible for reimbursing the College the itemized cost of each personal call. 

The Telecommunications Department will apply your payment for personal calls and issue a credit to your department. 

 

Approved by President’s Cabinet on July 10, 2001

Revised by President’s Cabinet on April 19, 2005

Revised by President’s Cabinet on May 1, 2007

 

* A full statement of the College’s telephone policy can be viewed at www.oneonta.edu/admin/telecomm/personal_use_phone.asp