Verification of Need. There must be legitimate business need for an employee to have a
County-issued cellular phone or to receive a stipend for use of a personal cellular phone
or Blackberry for County business. This may require keeping records of cellular phone
bills to verify the need for a phone to justify the need to the Department Head/Appointing
Acquisition Form/Acknowledgement. When it becomes necessary for an employee to
use a cellular phone for county business, the employee will complete and sign an
approved acquisition form that will be kept on file by the Department Head. The
employee must also complete and sign an acknowledgement stating that he/she
understands and will comply with the formal policy.
Cellular Phone Options. The County recognizes that the need for cellular phones differs
from office to office. Based on operational need, there are three options available for
Option 1 – The County will provide a cellular phone to the employee. County-owned
phones are to be used for business purposes only. On a monthly basis, a detailed listing
of phone calls for each cellular phone will be provided to the employee. The employee
will verify the numbers listed as business calls. The Department is responsible for
keeping logs of all cellular phone calls. Personal use of the cellular phone is a violation
of County policy.
Option 2 – The employee can use his/her personal cellular phone and request
reimbursement for business calls made on behalf of the County. The employee must
provide a listing of the calls made from the phone and highlight the business calls made.
Potential costs associated with such calls may include roaming charges, long distance
charges, costs for calling directory assistance, web usage and download fees, and any
other charges above and beyond the regular monthly service charge. The employee
and his/her supervisor will discuss the need for such potential charges before they are
reimbursed. Personal phone calls may be redacted from the copy of the statement
Reimbursement will be made on a percentage basis. For example, if the contract with
the cellular phone provider allows for 1,000 minutes per month at a cost of $100, and
10% of the calls made on the phone are County business, then 10% of the cost, or $10,
will be reimbursed to the employee.
Option 3 – The County will issue a $15-per-month cellular phone allowance to certain
employees for use of his/her personal cellular phone. This allowance is a taxable fringe
benefit and will be taxed accordingly. No record keeping is required with this option.
This option is mainly for employees who are on call 24/7.
Option 4 – Employees who have a legitimate business need for use of their personal
Blackberry devices will be issued a monthly stipend of $30 for its use for County
business. This allowance is a taxable fringe benefit and will be taxed accordingly. All
messages relating to county business must be copied to the employee’s county email
address. This includes both messages sent and received.
Management has the right to review the need for cellular phones or blackberries
periodically and may ask for documentation for verification purposes. However,
supervisors are required to review the need for use of cellular phones in their respective
departments on an annual basis.
The Auditor’s office will not require copies of phone bills. However, Departments should
maintain these records for five (5) years as they are subject to IRS or State Audit. The
county reserves the right to audit/review cellular phone usage to ensure their proper use.
Public Records. Employees should be aware that some of these records may be subject
to public records requests. Calls or messages made on behalf of the county are public
records, the cellular phone bills may be public records, etc. This information is not
meant to provide a complete listing of what is and what is not a public record. Public
records are determined by statute.