Type of Policy
Policy No
Effective Date
Last Revised
Review Date
Policy Owner
Info Tech- Resource Management
Contact Name
Kat Vineyard
Contact Title
Financial Analyst
Contact Email
Policy Statement

It is the responsibility of Georgia Tech and each of its budgetary units to implement procedures to effectively use communication services and equipment at the lowest possible cost. Heads of budgetary units (Vice Presidents, Deans, School Chairs, Unit Heads) or their designee are authorized to approve the acquisition of wireless communication devices and services. Wireless communication devices (WCDs) for purposes of this policy include, but are not limited to: mobile phones (smartphones or otherwise), tablets with mobile data, computers with mobile data, and hotspots. By contrast, cordless telephones, headsets, tablets and computers with wifi or wired connections, and other devices not subject to incremental usage charges are not included.

Guidelines for Acquisition and Use
An Institute assigned WCD/mobile phone and service may be an appropriate resource to conduct Institute business in instances when it will improve performance orwhen it is demonstrated an employee cannot perform his or her duties without a WCD/mobile phone The individual units or departments are responsible for:

  • Specifying authorized and unauthorized uses of wireless or mobile devices
  • Maintaining the approval justification for each WCD/mobile phone device and service issued or approved.
  • Documenting procedures for processing reimbursement for business use of personal WCD or mobile phones.
  • Maintaining an inventory of wireless devices in shared pools and individually-assigned, by type.

The inventory of WCDs maintained by each unit shall document, at the very least, each individual device type, the service provider for such device, and the assignee (individual user or most granular organizational unit in the case of shared/pool devices). Such inventory must be kept current by each unit or department, and made available for inspection by GIT Internal Audit or any authorized external agency upon request. Inventory reports shall be forwarded to Financial Services and/or the Office of Information Technology on a semi-annual basis, as directed.

Criteria for Determining Need
A department may acquire a WCD/mobile phone service for an employee where communications needs cannot be met with other available devices such as standard telephone equipment or soft client. Examples of conditions under which a WCD/mobile phone devices and service may be obtained if these criteria are met include the following:

  • A WCD/mobile phone is required for the employee’s position and need to maintain information or communicate with others as it relates to their job functions.
  • A WCD/mobile phone is required to directly enhance an employee's job responsibility of protecting the physical safety of the general public.
  • A WCD/ mobile phone is required for an employee to respond better to environmental emergencies.
  • A WCD/mobile phone is required for additional protection for the employee in potentially hazardous working conditions.
  • An employee cannot adequately meet communications needs with other available alternatives such as a standard land-line or soft client.
  • A WCD/mobile phone is required for on-call personnel required to respond to critical system failures or service disruptions
  • A WCD/mobile phone is determined to be the most appropriate means of responding to campus emergencies or to achieve business efficiencies.
  • Cost savings are realized when an employee combines or eliminates landline or services.

The unit head (or designee) of employees using Institute owned WCD/mobile phone is to initially determine the business needs and select an appropriate airtime package that meets these needs. If a manager identifies any non-reimbursed personal expenses, which have not been reported by the affected employee, the department will collect the cost of such call(s) from the employee and take any appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Personal Usage
WCD/mobile phones assigned to Institute faculty or staff members are primarily for official business use. While incidental personal use may occur, this use should not result in additional charges to the Institute. If a personal emergency arises that requires the extended or extensive use of the WCD/mobile phone to make personal calls, the faculty or staff member is to notify their unit head or supervisor and reimburse the Institute for charges incurred in the use of the device. Reimbursement to Georgia Tech for any WCD/mobile call for personal use should be deposited with the Bursar's Office by the department, along with a copy of the annotated bill noting the personal call and cost.

Ordering and Payment Administration
The following ordering and payment processing options shall be used for all WCDs/mobile phones issued for positions meeting the requisite criteria. The Procurement and Business Services will procure WCD/mobile phone services via negotiated agreements available to Georgia Tech employees. In special circumstances, Purchasing may utilize other agreements obtained from any carrier who best meets the needs of the Institute.

  • Institute-Owned WCD/mobile phones and Service
    For positions meeting the requisite criteria, departments should acquire WCD/mobile phone services via departmental PCard or Supplier Invoice Request (SIR), after completing any necessary forms provided by the service vendor representative to establish legitimate Georgia Tech service account(s). Only designated Georgia Tech Procurement officials may enter into contracts on behalf of Georgia Tech, and any actual contracts should be forwarded to Procurement for review and signature; any contracts signed by an unauthorized employee are in effect, personal obligations of the employee. When using the PCard or SIR for payment, the default expense code must be changed to 773500 utilizing the Georgia Tech PCard reallocation tool or cost transfer application. The Request for Wireless Communication Devices/Mobile phone Service form should be completed by the employee and approved by the Dean, Vice President, School Chair, Department Head or their designee and filed in the department.
  • Privately-Owned WCD/mobile phones and Service
    Heads of budgetary units may authorize employees to receive reimbursement for business-related calls made from privately-owned WCD/mobile phones. Such reimbursements shall be for the cost of business-related calls only and shall not include any portion of the cost of WCD/mobile phone equipment, installation or basic monthly service fees unless the WCD is used solely for official business. A completed Check Request Form (CRF) should be submitted to Accounts Payable including a copy of WCD/mobile phone bill with the business related calls and charges highlighted. For calls over $10.00, the person or organization called and business purpose is to be noted.

Additionally, it may make economic and business sense to pay a differential price to boost an employee's current airtime package on their personal phone by an amount sufficient to cover the addition of business calls. If the unit head determines that this approach is in the best interest of the Institute, they should document the rationale for this decision, keep on file, and review annually to ensure that this is still appropriate. The employee shall keep a copy of all monthly usage bills for the current review period, to assist with the annual review and service renewal process.

Right to Monitor Communications and Right to Privacy
Georgia Tech reserves the right to investigate, retrieve and read any communication or data composed, transmitted or received through voice services, online connections and/or stored on its servers and/or property, without further notice to employees, to the maximum extent permissible by law. Express notice to employees stating that there is no right to privacy for any use of Institute telecommunications equipment and services should be included in the assignment form granting access to Institute WCDs/mobile phones and/or services.

Policy Terms

Soft Client

Software or app that can be operated on a computer, smartphone, or tablet to make and receive telephone calls and/or messaging.

The individual units or departments are responsible for:
  • Specifying authorized and unauthorized uses of wireless or mobile devices.
  • Maintaining the approval justification for each WCD/mobile phone device and service issued or approved.
  • Documenting procedures for processing reimbursement for business use of personal WCD/mobile phones.
  • Maintaining an inventory of wireless devices in shared pools and individually-assigned, by type.
The individual assigned a WCD (primary user) is responsible for:
  • Ensuring the WCD is used for business functions.

  • Using reasonable care to prevent damage to the WCD.

  • Reporting personal usage that results in additional charges to the Institute.

  • Reimbursement for charges in the case of usage during a personal emergency.

  • Export review before leaving the United States with a WCD.