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
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.
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
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.
- State Issued Wireless Communication Devices
- The Agency Head or his/her designee must approve the acquisition and use of all state
issued wireless communication devices.
- 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.
- The approved requisition shall be forwarded to Becky Chauncey, Buyer, for the purchase to
- An approved purchase requisition and the appropriate justification slatement must be on file
for each state issued wireless communication device.
- State issued wireless communication devices may only be used for conducting official
business only, personal use is not permitted.
- 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
- Each employee shall be held accountable for the storage, use and security of their state
issued wireless communication device.
- Stipend Issued for Personal Wireless Communication Devices
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The wireless communication device is considered to be the personal property of the
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- The employee's job requires they need to be immediately accessible outside of normal business
- The employee is responsible for critical business functions or the supporting infrastructure and
needs to be immediately accessible at all times.
- The employee travels and needs to be accessible or have access to information technology systems while traveling.
- 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
- The following may be used as a guideline for determining allowances that may be made available for
employees requesting a wireless communication stipend.
|Essential personnel or COOP*
*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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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:
|Monthly Voice Plan Level 1 (450 minutes or less)
||(voice only plan)
|Monthly Voice Plan Level 2 (450 to 900 minutes)
||(voice only plan)
|Monthly Voice Plan Leven 3 (over 900 minutes)
||(voice only plan)
|Monthly Data Package (if data/internet usage is needed)
||(add to voice plan allowance)
|Bi-annual phone equipment allowance
||(Pager or other device)
|Bi-annual phone/data equipment allowance
||(voice, text and/or data)
||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.