Payment Options for Mobile Technology

Policy Number: 
IV.04.04
Reason for Policy: 

This policy creates a comprehensive framework and general guidelines for decision-making regarding costs and payment methods for Mobile Technology related to employment activities. This policy is the responsibility of the Business Affairs Office.

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

Employees who use mobile technology and those who approve and process such approvals.      

Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact the office of Business Affairs at 541.346.3165.

Enactment & Revision History: 

07/23/18: Revisions approved by President Michael Schill. Policy number changed to IV.04.04 from 06.00.11.

03/29/17: Technical change made by the University Secretary

12/28/2010: Reviewed and approved by President Richard Lariviere

Policy: 

Purchases of Mobile Technology and/or reimbursement to employees who utilize Mobile Technology to conduct university business are governed by the principles, general considerations, and payment options described below.

General Guidelines

  • Cellular phones, smart phones, and similar devices (Mobile Technology) have become commonplace, are readily available, and are convenient mechanisms to support university business practices.
  • Provision of university funds for Mobile Technology must meet a general need of the university. The Dean, Director, Department and/or other Unit Head is best-suited to determine if a specific employee or job classification requires the use of university-sponsored Mobile Technology, and to what extent. Guidelines regarding this determination are available in Access to Mobile Technology, Policy IV.06.05.
  • University data and information transmitted via Mobile Technology remains the property of the University of Oregon, subject to all appropriate rules and policies, including those covering public records.
  • University data and information transmitted or stored on Mobile Technology is subject to the Minimum Security Procedure for Devices with Sensitive Information as referenced in Data Classification, Policy IV.06.02.

Payment Options 

Each vice president is authorized to determine which payment options are available to units in his/her portfolio. 

Option 1: Unit Purchase

  • The employing unit:
    • Purchases the device and/or pays for the service contract, based upon unit business needs. Choice of contract for unit-purchased devices is limited to service contracts negotiated by the university, the State of Oregon, or another purchasing consortium. Exceptions may be granted by the appropriate dean, vice president, or senior administrator if an alternate service provider better meets the business needs of the unit.
    • Retains ownership of the device and maintains inventory controls over the device.
    • Administers the service plan for the device.
  • Personal use of a university-purchased device should be minimal. If costs are incurred due to personal use, the employee will be responsible for those costs and will reimburse the university in a timely manner.

Option 2: Employee Reimbursement

  • The unit provides a monthly reimbursement payment to the employee who, in turn, is responsible for all costs associated with the device and service.  Any equipment or accessories purchased by the employee remain the property of the employee at all times.
  • Notwithstanding the above, any Mobile Technology acquired or utilized under this policy shall be provisioned to the university, upon request, if needed for response to a public records request, subpoena, or other university business purpose.
  • The monthly payment is not compensation; it is a reimbursement of business-related expense and is processed through the Accounts Payable system.  In accordance with Internal Revenue Service guidelines issued in September, 2011, the recurring payment is not considered taxable income to the employee.
  • Payment tier maximum amounts are determined in accordance with university guidelines maintained by the Business Affairs Office. These guidelines shall be periodically reviewed and updated as necessary.

Tiers/Cost Limitations

Maximum payment amounts (Tiers 1-3) are based upon the median costs of representative voice/data plans plus the allocated cost of an equipment purchase prorated for level of usage.

Representative payment tiers:

  • Tier 1 – Low/Infrequent Use – Employee serves in on-call capacity on occasion.
  • Tier 2 – Routine Use – Employee is expected to be available throughout the work day, either at a fixed workstation or remote locations.  Employee uses mobile technology for both voice and data (i.e., email) interactions.
  • Tier 3 – High Use – Employee travels frequently or is otherwise away from a university workstation and utilizes mobile technology as a primary means of conducting university business. 
  • Tier 4 - International Users and Other Exceptional Circumstances - Example: International roaming service, Satellite Phone service - To be determined on a case-by-case basis

Charges to Grants and Contracts

Payment for Mobile Technology must comply with regulations related to the specific grant or contract.  UO Sponsored Projects Services is responsible for communicating the regulations for individual grants and contracts.

Procedures: 

For university-purchased Mobile Technology, unit should follow established unit practice for purchasing/contracting. For employee reimbursement payments, unit should contact BAO Accounts Payable for assistance.

Chapter/Volume: 
  • Volume IV: Finance, Administration and Infrastructure
  • Chapter 4: Business affairs
Original Source: 
UO Policy Statement