Wireless Communication Device

Purpose

To provide guidance regarding eligibility for a wireless communication plan and equipment allowances.

Policy

It is the policy of The University of Texas at El Paso to provide a wireless communication device allowance to those employees who have a documented official state business need for a communication device, meet eligibility requirements, and have approval by their appropriate Vice President. Academic departments will also require approval by the appropriate Dean.

Wireless communication device allowances are taxable compensation subject to required tax withholdings. Such allowances are not an entitlement and are not part of the employee's base salary. Allowances do not qualify as compensation for TRS or ORP contribution purposes.

Equipment and Activation Allowance:

An equipment allowance not to exceed $600 may be provided for the acquisition of communication equipment. Documentation of actual costs (receipts) is required. Equipment obtained by the employee utilizing the equipment allowance is the property of the employee.

Employees opting to use an installment payment plan for equipment will receive a one-time allowance of the actual payments actually made to the cell phone provider with a maximum of $600.  Monthly statements must be submitted to validate the payments made to the cell phone provider. 

In the event an employee's responsibilities require a PDA or email capable device, the department may purchase such a device from available departmental equipment funds in lieu of an equipment allowance. The device will remain the property of The University of Texas at El Paso.

Monthly Communication Plan Allowance:

Numerous service plans are available in the telecommunications market. Eligible employees may choose any provider and plan.

Provider contracts resulting from such choices are between the employee and the provider and in no way obligate The University of Texas at El Paso. The University of Texas at El Paso does not endorse any particular service provider or plan.

The monthly allowance will be $75, $100, or $150 and will be determined based on historical usage following review and recommendation from the department head and approval by the appropriate Vice President.  Academic departments will also require approval by the appropriate Dean.

Procedures

To receive a wireless communication device allowance, the employee's department head must submit to the payroll office an approved  Wireless Communication Device Allowance Request Form.

The monthly communication plan allowance is to be reviewed and approved annually during the budget cycle and shall remain effective throughout the year or until this policy is revised and the employee is not eligible for the allowance according to the revised policy. The communication allowance will be cancelled for the following:

  • The employee's job duties change and the department head does not consider that the new duties support a business need for a wireless communication allowance.
  • Theemployee terminates employment with The University of Texas at El Paso.

Department heads are responsible for notifying the Payroll Office if an employee's job responsibilities change and the provision of a monthly communication plan allowance are no longer approved.

Applicability

  • Employees who are Director level and above.
  • On an exception basis, employees below the Director level who have the recommendation of the department head and approval by the appropriate Vice President and Dean for Academic Colleges.

Definitions

Communication Device - cellular  telephones,  personal  digital  assistants  (PDA)  with  email    capability, telephone/personal digital assistant combinations.

Director Level - includes  Vice  Presidents,  Assistant  Vice  Presidents,  Associate  Vice  Presidents,   and Directors.

Official State Business Needs - the employee frequently engages in work-related travel, the employee is frequently out of the office on UT El Paso business, or the employee is a member of key personnel needed in the event of an emergency.

Responsible Party

Office of the VPBA / Comptroller

Last Updated: July 6, 2016


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  • The University of Texas at El Paso.
  • 500 West University Avenue,
  • El Paso, Texas 79968
  • (915) 747-5000