IT‑02‑02 – Mobile Devices for Staff

Originator: Chief Information Officer
Approver: Senior Leadership Team
Effective: September 1, 2020
Replaces: New

1. Preamble

Mobile devices (cell phones) are important tools for connectivity and collaboration. Not all staff require mobile devices for their jobs, but for those who do, the College will provide a mobile device and cover the operating costs. Personal use is acceptable providing the College does not incur costs and the use does not pose a risk to the College, College systems, or data.

2. Definitions

“Mobile Device/Cell Phone” for this policy, these are interchangeable terms referring to a portable device with cellular capabilities. This does not include laptops, but it may include some tablets.

“In‑Scope device” is any mobile device covered by this policy, this includes mobile devices on a College funded corporate contract, other College funded contract, or funded through a stipend.

“Corporate Plan/Plan/Cell Phone Plan” a contract between the College and our selected provider to provide data, calling, texting, roaming and other services related to cellular mobile devices.

“The Program” is the mobile device program that is defined by this policy and provides for the provision and management of mobile devices and cellular service for employees.

3. Scope

  • All staff.
  • All mobile devices fully or partially funded by the college.

4. Principles

  1. Benefit to the College: The College provides mobile devices to employees in order to benefit the College by enhancing the efficiency, availability, and safety of staff.
  2. Corporate Plan: The College, as a public sector body, can generally obtain better plan rates and features than individuals can. The College will leverage its relationships and position as a public sector organization to establish cell phone plans advantageous to the College.
  3. Manager Oversight: Managers are in the best position to determine the benefit and value to the College of providing a mobile device to a given staff member.
  4. The Right Question: As of July 2020, our corporate plan has significantly capped our risk exposure for overages and usage, and reduced our overall costs. This reduced exposure and cost changes the role of management regarding oversight of cell phone usage. Managers should focus on the question of who should have a mobile device, and less on the amount of usage.

5. Policy Statements

5.1 College Cell Phone Plan

The College will establish, maintain, and administer a corporate cell phone agreement to provide the maximum benefit to the College. The expectation is that all College‑issued mobile devices will operate under this plan.

  1. In the event that the College plan does not meet a specific need (such as specialized remote or international travel situations, working out of country for long periods, or other situations), the College may enter into agreements with other providers to meet the unique need.
  2. ITS will manage and administer all mobile device contracts entered into by the College. No area of the College may enter into mobile device agreements except through ITS.

5.2 Mobile Device Support

ITS will provide support services for mobile devices including:

  • Administration of our contract(s);
  • Manage our relationship with our vendor(s);
  • Coordinate purchases and upgrades;
  • Support staff with issues related to our corporate cell phone plan(s);
  • Support staff with travel plans;
  • Support managers and staff with addressing unique mobile device needs;
  • Coordinate personal use billing;
  • Support managers with billing and reporting;
  • Provide institutional reporting on usage and costs; and
  • Other services as may be required.

5.3 Budget

All costs associated with a mobile device will be held in the operational budget of the finance manager(s) funding the mobile device. This includes mobile device, accessories, repairs, fees, and travel plans. Mobile devices will have two budget lines:

  1. Costs associated with subscription fees and service‑related charges.
  2. Costs associated with mobile devices, repairs, accessories, or other hardware‑related charges.

5.4 Job Requirement and Approvals

The College provides mobile devices to individuals under the following circumstances:

  1. Staff whose job duties require them to be mobile on a regular basis (ie: moving around campus, or among campuses, or at various work assignments off‑site) while also in regular communication with their manager/team, for which other methods of contact are less desirable;
  2. Staff who regularly perform on‑call type work, or otherwise need to be contacted outside of regular work hours, for which other methods of contact are less desirable;
  3. Staff who require the mobile device to address working alone or other safety considerations; or
  4. Staff who have job or health accommodation considerations that are addressed by a mobile device.

5.4.1 Regular Review of Need
Managers will establish and regularly (at least annually) review the need for an individual to have a mobile device. If the mobile device is funded by an area other than where the staff reports, then the funding manger(s) and the staff’s manager will collaborate on these reviews.

5.4.2 Shared Mobile devices
The use of shared mobile devices for certain jobs or intermittent requirements is acceptable, provided it is managed by the department with the need and coordinated through ITS. Mobile devices are typically assigned to individuals.

5.5 Personal Use

Mobile devices are for College business; however, limited personal use is acceptable provided that:

  1. It does not interfere with College use;
  2. It does not expose the College or College assets and information to risk;
  3. It complies with other college policies, including IT1 – Acceptable use of Information Technology Resources;
  4. It does not create cost for the College; and
  5. Users understand that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in any content, including any personal content (see 5.16 Management of Mobile devices).

5.5.1 Personal costs
Staff who incur personal costs above the base plan amount may be required to reimburse the College for excessive personal use or may have their service terminated.

In general, it is not the intent of this policy to encourage frequent, detailed reviews of mobile device usage. However, mobile device usage will be audited, and excessive or inappropriate use will be reviewed.

Staff who incur costs related to personal travel will reimburse the College (see 5.13 Travel and Roaming).

5.6 Use of Wi‑Fi

Staff should use Wi‑Fi for data connectivity wherever feasible and appropriate. This can significantly reduce the data usage costs for the College.

5.7 Stipend

In general, when choosing a method of funding a mobile device, participation in the corporate plan is encouraged. The corporate plan provides a significant advantage to individuals in terms of features and for the College to ensure the best possible functionality for staff based on the College’s needs.

For situations where there is a demonstrated need for an individual to use a plan other than the College’s corporate plan, the college will either fund the plan (see 5.1 College Cell Phone Plan), or the individual will receive a stipend to compensate them for the use of their personal mobile device and personal plan for college business.

  1. A stipend is most suitable for temporary or short‑term reimbursement.
  2. The intent of a stipend is to cover real costs.
  3. It is expected that the mobile device and plan will sufficiently achieve the needs for which the College has provided the stipend, and further reimbursement will not be provided.
  4. Mobile devices for which a stipend is being provided are subject to College oversight and control in the same manner as a College‑issued mobile device (see 5.16 Management of Mobile devices).

5.7.1 Stipend Amount
The stipend will be the base monthly amount for a mobile device on the corporate plan. The stipend amount may change based on changes to the corporate plan.

5.8 Ownership of mobile devices

The College owns mobile devices provided under the corporate program. Mobile devices will be returned to the College when an individual exits the program.

5.8.1 Keeping your mobile device
Staff are not permitted to keep any mobile device purchased by the College under the program.

5.9 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Staff joining the program may choose to transfer their personal mobile device to the corporate plan. In this case, the mobile device will remain the property of the individual.

  1. The College may refuse to accept mobile devices on the program that do not meet minimum standards or are otherwise deemed unfit.
  2. Staff are responsible for any existing contracts and related fees from the transferring provider.
  3. The College will not incur any costs associated with transferring in a mobile device.
  4. BYOD mobile devices brought onto the College plan are subject to College oversight and control in the same manner as a College‑issued mobile device (see 5.16 Management of Mobile devices).

5.10 Transferring in a phone number

Staff joining the program may choose to transfer an existing phone number onto the corporate plan. In this case, the College will not reassign the phone number to other individuals and the staff will be entitled to transfer the phone number out should that be required.

  1. The College may refuse to accept phone number on to the program for any reason.
  2. The College will not incur any costs associated with transferring in a phone number.

5.11 Transferring out a phone number

Staff who exit the program for whatever reason may choose to keep their phone number provided that:

  1. The College does not incur any costs associated with transferring the phone number; and
  2. The number is not associated with a general function of the college or otherwise published in association with the College, other than in contact lists where it is associated with the individual.

In general, if staff have transferred in a phone number, they are entitled to transfer it out. However, the College may not permit the transfer if the number has become a general use number for the College.

5.12 Leaves

Given that staff will not be performing their job functions during leaves, the College will generally not provide staff with mobile devices during leaves. In rare cases, with a bona fide business reason and with the approval of a Dean/Director, College staff will be permitted to retain (and the College will cover) the cost of plans while staff are on leave.

Staff who are on leave from work for more than two months will be required, at their manager’s discretion, to either:

  1. Return their mobile device and have their service temporarily suspended. In these cases, mobile devices and numbers may be reused in the staff’s absence; or
  2. Retain their mobile device and personally cover the cost of their plan and any associated costs for the duration of their leave.

5.13 Travel and Roaming

Often fees are associated with traveling outside of Canada. Plans exist to reduce travel and roaming charges and ensure appropriate service. In advance of travel, staff should contact ITS Mobile Device Support to ensure the appropriate plans are in place for their situation.

  1. Staff planning personal travel who want to take their corporate mobile device should follow the same procedure and would reimburse the College for any personal costs incurred above the base plan amount.

5.14 Mobile Devices

5.14.1 Standards
ITS, in consultation with the College community, will establish standards for mobile devices and accessories.

5.14.2 Mobile Device Options
Staff may choose one of two options:

  1. Any $0 standard compliant mobile device with a minimum refresh of two years.
  2. Any N‑1 standard compliant mobile device with a minimum refresh of three years.

5.14.3 Upgrades to Mobile Devices
There is a significant financial advantage to the College to maximize mobile device use and minimize upgrades. If a mobile device is functional and complies with standards, it should generally be retained and used.

  1. Upgrades are always allowed if:
    1. A mobile device is no longer appropriately functional;
    2. A mobile device is damaged, and repair is more expensive than an upgrade; or
    3. A mobile device is older than four years.
  2. Upgrades are not permitted if:
    1. An upgrade would incur extra costs to the College; or
    2. The mobile device is within the minimum refresh period as described in 5.14.2 Mobile Device Options.

5.14.4 Exceptions and purchasing outside of guidelines
Operational budgets may be used to purchase or upgrade mobile devices outside of the prescribed guidelines in section 5.14.2 Mobile Device Options, provided that there is a bone fide business need that justifies the use of College funds.

  1. Staff may not use personal funds to purchase or upgrade a mobile device.
  2. Purchasing outside of guidelines must be approved by a Dean/Director.

5.14.5 Repair, Damage, and Loss
Staff should make every effort to maintain their mobile device securely and in working order. In the event of damage or loss, the College will cover the repair or replacement provided the damage or loss is not the result of negligence or inappropriate use.

5.14.5.1 Report Lost Mobile devices
Lost mobile devices should be reported to ITS immediately to prevent data loss or exposure of College systems.

5.14.6 Tablets
The cellular capability of a tablet is covered by this policy; however, this policy should not be interpreted as endorsing or otherwise permitting tablets to be purchased. The selection of a tablet as a computing device is expressly not addressed by this policy.

5.15 Accessories

The College will cover the cost of accessories to protect mobile devices, such as cases. A standard offering or price range will be established by ITS.

5.16 Management of Mobile Devices

The College will apply appropriate management software and control systems onto in‑scope mobile devices—this includes mobile devices on the corporate contract, other College funded contract, or funded through a stipend.

5.16.1 Right of inspection
The College reserves the right to review and physically inspect any in‑scope mobile devices to ensure compliance with security standards.

  1. The user has the right to be present during inspection.
  2. The user will not be required to provide personal information including passwords, but will be required to unlock the mobile device to provide staff access for the inspection.

5.16.2 Right of Seizure
In the event of investigations or e‑discovery, in‑scope mobile devices may be seized without notice. A seizure under this section must be authorized by the Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Information Officer, or General Counsel.

5.16.3 No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy
Employees have no reasonable expectation of privacy over the content or usage of mobile devices covered by this Policy.

6. Reference

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