Information Technology Policies and Standards

Telephone Usage Policy (Revised)
This policy ensures City telephone resources are used appropriately.

City telephone equipment, cellular telephones and pagers are provided for OFFICIAL CITY BUSINESS USE ONLY. City employees are prohibited from making toll sensitive long distance and cellular telephone calls or cellular data transactions on City owned telecommunications equipment. Employees must reimburse personal long distance and personal cellular telephone calls to the City Treasury immediately upon receipt of the bill for such usage. Payment can be made through department financial procedures or by submitting payment directly to the City Treasury.

Do not make costly "operator assisted" calls such as person-to-person, credit card calls, or any other calls requiring the services of an operator on City telecommunications equipment. Keep directory assistance (1-411) calls to a minimum.

City telephone numbers shall not be used for "third party" calls ( i.e., calling from a non-City facility or location and charging the call to a City number). Personal collect calls, calls to 1-900, 1-976 or other similar "pay per minute" services are prohibited.

Basic cellular equipment is issued by the various cellular providers when an employee initially obtains cellular service. This basic equipment has a full array of services and features, and is usually free of charge. In the case where there is an initial charge for equipment, it generally does not exceed $100 for the unit and related accessories.

If a Department wishes to purchase equipment other than this basic offering, a written justification, approved by the Department Director will be required. Any equipment that exceeds $200 will require CAO approval. This includes any replacement cellular equipment. City employees must purchase replacement cellular phones through the Telecommunications Management Group, Information Systems Division.

City employees that participate in cellular "calling plans" are required to limit their cellular calls to the number of minutes provided by their specific plan. An employee that exceeds the usage limit of their cellular plan will reimburse the City for the entire dollar amount over the plan limit. If the employee can attribute the excess usage to a specific City project, or work related event, they can complete a City expense reimbursement form, documenting the business reason they had for exceeding the calling plan, and upon approval by their department director, can be reimbursed for their business expense.

City employees who are on duty as a commercial driver, are operating heavy equipment, or are driving a City vehicle weighing more than 8000 pounds are strictly prohibited from making or receiving calls on a City owned or personal cellular telephone, or any wireless communications device. City employees who are driving vehicles weighing less than 8000 pounds, and do not fit in the above defined categories, are prohibited from using any wireless telecommunications device in the a City vehicle unless they use "hands free" equipment.

Proposed "use of private cell phones" policies can be imposed on a departmental level, with the approval of the Chief Administrative Officer. Employee time is valuable, and work hours must be fully used for City business. There are no City-wide rules or restrictions governing use of privately owned wireless telecommunications devices, however, City departments may limit, or prohibit use of personal cell phones, pagers or other personal wireless devices on during work time on City property by issuing departmental policies.

City cellular telephones are City property. Personal cell phones may not be assigned a City cellular telephone number and used for City business under any circumstance.

The City's Telecommunications Management Group, Information Systems Division, is responsible for monitoring and evaluating and reporting to the City Administration on all telecommunications usage and telecommunications related expenditures to ensure the cost effectiveness of the City's telecommunications systems and networks.

The Telecommunications Management Group is the exclusive liaison with Qwest Communications, their affiliates, and all other vendors and providers of telecommunications equipment and related services. This includes, but is not limited to: telephone, data, radio, and video communications equipment and services, voice and data circuits (both public and proprietary), microwave systems, long distance services, coin operated telephones, cellular telephones, wireless telecommunications equipment, fax machines, and any telecommunications related software systems or devices to be attached to the above.

Telecommunications Management may change a wireless telecommunications provider, or calling plan without prior approval of the specific user or department, if a usage pattern develops that results in exceeding a calling plan repeatedly, resulting in excessive cost to the City for a period greater than two months.

In order to monitor, evaluate and ensure the cost effectiveness of the City's telecommunications systems and networks, all acquisition and maintenance of telecommunications services and equipment must be approved by the City Telecommunications Management Group.

This policy leverages economies of scale in the procurement and support of telephone services and equipment. Telephone equipment should be used for City business.

Contact: Dan A. Sparacino, (505) 768-3140