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SMG 2310.7

FDA STAFF MANUAL GUIDES, VOLUME III - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

BUDGET

STANDARDS FOR CELLULAR TELEPHONE USE REIMBURSEMENT

Effective Date: 10/14/2008

[PDF Version]

 1. Purpose
 2. Policy
 3. Responsibilities
 4. Procedures for Reimbursement
 5. Effective Date
 6. History

1. PURPOSE 

This guide prescribes the policy and procedures governing the reimbursement and billing of Government issued mobile/cellular telephones and personal owned mobile/cellular telephones used for official Government business.

2. POLICY 

It is the policy of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide cellular telecommunications services and facilities for Agency activities at the minimum total cost to the Government, consistent with requirements for capacity, efficiency of operations, reliability of services, security, and program objective.

Cellular telephone equipment and service for Agency activities will be provided at the least cost to the Government, consistent with requirements for efficiency of operation, reliability of service, and security.

Monthly statements provided to the Agency by the mobile/cellular telephone service provider must show actual usage to accurately reflect the actual costs of all calls, whether or not a charge is associated with each call.

3. RESPONSIBILITIES 

A. Office of Financial Management. The Office of Financial Management (OFM) has the overall responsibility for the billing and collection of monies owed the Agency for using a Government issued mobile/cellular telephone to make or receive personal calls. In addition, OFM is also responsible for reimbursing an employee for any official government business calls, including roaming charges, made or received on a personal owned mobile/cellular telephone.

B. Centers/Offices. The individual Offices/Centers have the responsibility to choose a mobile/cellular telephone monthly billing and usage plan that best meets the needs of the government and is the most cost effective. Additionally, Offices/Centers are responsible for performing audits on these plans to ensure that proper billing and reimbursement. Processes for conducting these audits are to be established and implemented by each Office/Center.

C. Office of Information Management. The Office of Information Management (OIM) is responsible for issuing Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) such as Blackberries, with both voice and PDA services.

D. Employee.

The employee has the overall responsibility to certify all calls as official government business or personal use. In addition, the employee also has the responsibility to reimburse the government for the cost of any personal calls, including roaming charges, made or received on a government issued mobile/cellular telephone and exceed the monthly allowance of free minutes established by the mobile/cellular telephone service provider.

1. Government issued mobile/cellular telephones:

a. If the billing does not exceed the monthly allowance of free minutes established by the mobile/cellular telephone service provider, and 100% of the calls listed on the monthly statement were official, the employee is not responsible for any part of the bill.

b. If the billing exceeds the monthly allowance of free minutes established by the mobile/cellular telephone service provider, but 100% of the calls listed on the bill were official, the employee is not responsible for any part of the bill.

c. If the billing does exceed the monthly allowance of free minutes established by the mobile/cellular telephone service provider, and there were personal calls listed on the monthly statement, the employee is responsible for reimbursing the Agency for the cost of the personal calls both within and exceeding the monthly allowance.

2. Personal owned mobile/cellular telephones:

If an employee is given a government issued mobile/cellular phone, the employee should use the government phone for business related calls. If an employee makes official government calls, or receives incoming official government calls, on his/her personally owned mobile/cellular telephone, the Agency is responsible for reimbursing the employee the cost associated with those calls. (see 4b)

4. PROCEDURES FOR REIMBURSEMENT 

A. Government issued mobile/cellular telephones:

If the billing does exceed the monthly allowance of free minutes established by the mobile/cellular telephone service provider, and there were personal calls listed on the monthly statement:

1. Determine the total number of airtime minutes used during the month.

2. Determine the total number of minutes used for personal calls.

3. Determine the percentage of the total airtime minutes that were used for personal calls.

• § For example: If the total number of airtime minutes used during the month is 500 minutes and the total number of minutes used for personal calls is 200 minutes, the percentage of the monthly airtime minutes that was used for personal calls is 40% (200/500).

4. Multiply the percentage of minutes used for personal calls by the cost of the monthly airtime minutes listed on the statement, not including taxes, governmental surcharges and fees

B. Personal owned mobile/cellular telephones:

An employee may be reimbursed for official government business calls made or received on a personal owned mobile/cellular phone. If an itemized statement is not provided by the mobile/cellular telephone provider, the employee is permitted to self-certify the number of minutes used for official government business.

To claim reimbursement, employees must fill out and submit a Standard Form 1164 Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business to their supervisor and attach a copy of the itemized bill from the mobile/cellular phone provider, or include the following self-certifying statement.

"The figures contained in this Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business are correct and accurately reflect the dollar amount owed for telephone calls made or received for official government business. I understand that falsification of claims for reimbursement may be grounds for adverse action, including dismissal from Government service."

5. EFFECTIVE DATE 

This policy was signed by John P. Gentile, Associate Commissioner for Operations, effective October 14, 2008.

 6. Document History -- SMG 2310.7, Standards for Cellular Telephone Use Reimbursement

STATUS (I, R, C)DATE APPROVEDLOCATION OF CHANGE HISTORYCONTACTAPPROVING OFFICIAL
Initial10/14/2008N/aOC/OM/OFMJohn P. Gentile, Associate Commissioner for Operations