About VWCC :: College Policies

II-5: Wireless Communication Guidelines and Policy

Policy Number: II-5
Effective Date: January 21, 2013
Last Reviewed: January 21, 2013
Responsible Dept.: Financial Services

Policy Document (PDF)

Purpose

Virginia Western Community College (hereafter referred to as VWCC) recognizes that certain employees due to the nature of their jobs and the location in which they work may require wireless communication devices in order to adequately conduct official state business. Further, VWCC recognizes the need to be able to contact and/or communicate outside of business hours with certain employees who possess essential knowledge, decision-making ability and/or whose expertise is critical for the on-going operation of the college. To that end, these guidelines provide a framework to manage wireless communication devices, stay in compliance with IRS regulations, and save cost.

Definitions

Agency Head - President or designee at VWCC.

President's Cabinet - Senior level administrators at the college, including the President, Vice President of Academics, Vice President of Finance, Human Resources Director, and Foundation Director.

Data Package - wireless communication plans that typically include text messaging, multimedia messaging, Web browsing and email service.

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) - handheld device that combines computing, telephone, internet and networking features. PDAs generally include a web browser, audio capabilities, access to the internet, and access to email, contacts, task lists, and current documents.

Phone/Data Equipment Allowance - Stipend to cover replacement or renewal of older phone/data equipment. This allowance is allocated on a bi-annual basis.

Text Messaging - brief written messages for mobile phones over cellular networks.

Wireless Commzmication Device - Any of the following devices: internet, cellular phone, personal digital assistant (PDAs) including, but not limited to Palms, Blackberry, iPhone Droid, and pagers.

Guidelines

  1. State Issued Wireless Communication Devices
    1. The Agency Head or his/her designee must approve the acquisition and use of all state issued wireless communication devices.
    2. An employee shall submit a request for a state issued wireless communication device on a VWCC purchase requisition and attach a statement justifying the need for the device. The requisition must be signed by the employee, and approved by the employee's supervisor, the applicable Vice President and the President or his/her designee, authorized to approve a wireless communication device.
    3. The approved requisition shall be forwarded to Becky Chauncey, Buyer, for the purchase to be made.
    4. An approved purchase requisition and the appropriate justification slatement must be on file for each state issued wireless communication device.
    5. State issued wireless communication devices may only be used for conducting official business only, personal use is not permitted.
    6. Recurring monthly billings shall be forwarded to the wireless communication device user and their supervisor for review, emergency personal usage must be reimbursed to the college.
    7. Each employee shall be held accountable for the storage, use and security of their state issued wireless communication device.
  2. Stipend Issued for Personal Wireless Communication Devices
    1. VWCC will offer a taxable stipend (allowance) for wireless communication devices including service and equipment to those employees whose duties require the need for a communication device. These employees will receive a monthly allowance to cover
      business-related costs.
    2. VWCC will not purehase the wireless communication devices or service plans for the employees conducting business under the stipend plan. Employees that meet the criteria for a stipend need to make arrangements to have the wireless communication device and service prior to receiving the stipend.
    3. The wireless communication devices and service plans purchased with the monthly allowance may be used for boil1 personal and business purposes. The allowance is intended to defray the cost of conducting VWCC business with wireless eormaaunication devices and may at times not cover the total cost of a wireless eommunicatlons plan or usage.
    4. Any employee who receives an allowance shall be required to have the pertinent contact information (i.e. phone number) published or distributed for VWCC business purposes. Employees must provide new or changed cellular phone numbers to Human Resources within five (5) days of the change.
    5. The wireless communication device is considered to be the personal property of the employee.
    6. Access granted to employees may be limited to voice communications or could also include access to information technology systems, such as email, calendar, web, etc. This determination shall be based upon college need and not necessarily employee preference.
    7. The wireless communication stipend will be provided as taxable income to the employee, but will not be considered part of the employee's base pay, The stipend does not constitute an increase to base pay and will not be included in the calculation of percentage increases to base pay due to annual raises, promotions, etc.
    8. An employee is prohibited from continuing to collect a monthly wireless communication stipend when his/her device is no longer active or needed for the performance of the employee's job responsibilities.

Criteria

An employee shall be considered eligible under this policy when they meet the following criteria. Simple convenience is not a criterion for granting a wireless commlmication device.

  1. The employee's job requires they work regularly in the field and need to be immediately accessible such is sometimes the case with Workforce Development personnel.
  2. The employee's job requires they need to be immediately accessible outside of normal business hours.
  3. The employee is responsible for critical business functions or the supporting infrastructure and needs to be immediately accessible at all times.
  4. The employee travels and needs to be accessible or have access to information technology systems while traveling.
  5. Access via voice and or access to information technology systems via a mobile communications device would, in the judgment of the supervisor, render the employee more productive and/or the service the employee provides more effective, and the cost of mobile communications service is therefore warranted.

Allowances

  1. The following may be used as a guideline for determining allowances that may be made available for employees requesting a wireless communication stipend.

    Employee Role Voice Data Equipment Allowance
    President/Vice President Level 3 Yes Smartphone
    Dean/Director Level 2 As needed As needed
    Faculty Level 1 As needed As needed
    Essential personnel or COOP* As needed As needed As needed

    *Essential personnel/COOP - This category goes above and beyond the employee role, and the employee is eligible fbr the
    equipment needed to fulfill their job requirements

Audits and Changes

  1. The President's Cabinet (or designee) must review and re-approve this policy prior to the start of each fiscal year in order to confirm each employee's eligibility under this policy.
  2. For employee covered under the stipend policy, changes in allowance may be made on an annual basis or as needed based on the employee's job function.
  3. In the event an employee is terminated, laid-off, or retires, the college will not pay to terminate the wireless communication contract entered into as part of a stipend.
  4. In cases where the employee is utilizing a state issued wireless communication device, these may be re-assigned, modified, and or canceled based upon college need.

Transitions

  1. Effective immediately, VWCC will only provide state issued wireless communication devices in limited circumstances where the wireless communication device is essential to the provision of state services. Existing devices that no longer meet the criteria outlined under this policy may be discontinued at the college's discretion.
  2. Employees that meet the criteria for a stipend need to make arrangements to have the wireless communication device and service prior to receiving the stipend.

Process

  1. Stipend Approval
    The President or his/her designee will review the criteria listed above, and make a determination on employee eligibility. If it is determined that the employee meets the criteria and is eligible for a wireless stipend, the table below will be used to select the most reasonable monthly allowance option, based on the employee role, and the intended usage of the device:

    Plan Option Allowance Amount Comments
    Monthly Voice Plan Level 1 (450 minutes or less) $40.00 (voice only plan)
    Monthly Voice Plan Level 2 (450 to 900 minutes) $60.00 (voice only plan)
    Monthly Voice Plan Leven 3 (over 900 minutes) $70.00 (voice only plan)
         
    Monthly Data Package (if data/internet usage is needed) $20.00 (add to voice plan allowance)
         
    Bi-annual phone equipment allowance $50.00 (Pager or other device)
    Bi-annual phone/data equipment allowance $200.00 (voice, text and/or data)
         
    Monthly Other $______ President (or designee) Approval Required

    Employees requesting a wireless communications stipend must complete the Wireless Communication Stipend Request form, and submit the completed lbrms to the Vice President of Finance.

    Notes on approvals:
    • Requests must be approved by the President or his/her designee prior to acquisition and use.
    • The President or his/her designee must ensure that there are sufficient available funds in the telephone budget.
    • Exceptions to any of the requirements outlined above can be granted with approval from the appropriate Vice President or the President.
    • The Vice President of Finance will forward the approved stipend form to payroll for tax benefit purposes.
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