Information Technology Policies and Standards

Telecommunications Usage Policy
To Be Reviewed
This policy ensures City telecommunications resources are used appropriately.

Basic Guidelines

City telephone equipment, cellular telephones, pagers and all other telecommunications equipment and services as outlined below are provided for OFFICIAL CITY BUSINESS USE ONLY. As such, absent a clear and convincing exception, all landline, cell phone and pager numbers paid for with taxpayer dollars are to be made available to the public on request. City employees are reminded that all messages, calls, files and user actions are subject to monitoring.

City employees are expected to comply with the following guidelines:

  • Do not make landline long distance, cellular telephone calls or cellular data transactions on City owned telecommunications equipment that will be subject to toll charges.
  • Do not make "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. Telephone directories are readily available throughout the City for outside numbers. Individual City employee numbers are available through 311.
  • Do not make "third party" calls (calling from a non-City facility or location and charging the call to a City number).
  • Do not make collect calls, calls to 1-900, 1-976 or other similar "pay per minute" services, even if charged to your personal phone number.
  • Absent a specific Departmental policy to the contrary, City employees while on duty operating a City vehicle are strictly prohibited from making or receiving calls on a personal or City provided telecommunications device unless they use "hands free" equipment.
  • With the exception of occasional de minimis personal use, all use of City telecommunications equipment and services is to be for City business use only.

Telecommunications Equipment and Services

City employees are provided with all telecommunications equipment and services needed by or suitable for them to perform their essential job functions. Charges for basic needed or suitable equipment or services are charged to the employee's Department.

If a Department wishes to purchase equipment other than the basic offering, a written justification, approved by the Department Director, will be required. Any equipment, including replacement equipment, that exceeds $200 requires Chief Administrative Officer approval and will be charged to the employee's Department. All City provided telecommunications equipment and services must be acquired through the Telecommunications Management Group, Information Systems Division.

City employees that require cellular telephones to perform their essential job functions will be enrolled in a "calling plan" considered to be appropriate for their City business needs.

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 circumstances.

Departmental Policies on Use of Personal Cell Phones

Employee time is valuable, and work hours must be fully used for City business. However, reasonable "use of personal cell phones or telecommunications devices" policies can be imposed at the Department level, with the approval of the Chief Administrative Officer, when justified by business considerations. City departments may limit or prohibit the use of personal cell phones, pagers or other personal wireless devices during on-duty time on City property by issuing departmental policies.

Occasional Personal de minimis Use of City Telecommunications Equipment and Services

Under Internal Revenue Service regulations, occasional de minimis use of City provided telecommunications equipment and services does not give rise to taxable income to employees. Therefore, any City employee assigned access to telecommunications service or equipment who does not exceed their assigned "calling plan" minutes will not be considered to exceed the occasional de minimis rule. Any City employee who exceeds their calling plan minutes in any month shall promptly reimburse the City for all personal calls made during that month. Any City employee who does not exceed their calling plan minutes in any month shall be deemed to be in compliance with the occasional de minimis rule and shall not be required to reimburse the City for any personal calls made during that month.

When City employees exceed their calling plan minutes in two successive months, it is the responsibility of the employee to contact the Telecommunications Management Group to determine if their calling plan is appropriate for their business needs.

Responsibility for City's Telecommunications Equipment and Services

The City's Telecommunications Management Group ("TMG"), Information Systems Division, is responsible for monitoring, 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.

TMG is the exclusive liaison with all 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.

TMG may change any wireless telecommunications vendor, provider or calling plan without prior notice to or approval of the specific user or Department to minimize the cost or maximize the effectiveness of the equipment or service.

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 TMG.

This policy leverages economies of scale in the procurement and support of City telecommunications services and equipment. With the exception of occasional de minimis personal use, City telecommunications services and equipment should be used in the most cost-effective manner only for City business.

See also:
  • Administrative Instruction 8-1-1, "Guidelines for Telecommunication Program ," November 1, 2001.

Contact: Hipolito Fierro, (505) 768-2724