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Administration Policy And Procedure Notice

Issuance #597

Administration Policy And Procedure Notice #1/01


January 22, 2001 


Telecommunication Devices (cellular telephones, beepers, and pagers)




This Policy and Procedure Notice (PPN) institutes the City of New York Cellular Telephone Policy, October 2000, (Attachment 1) and provides the guidelines for the acquisition and utilization of cellular telephones, cellular telephones with two-way transmission, pagers and beepers by Department staff.


City of New York Cellular Telephone Policy

The Department enforces the City of New York Cellular Telephone Policy. Failure to comply with the provisions of this PPN or the City of New York Cellular Telephone Policy may result in the loss of the telecommunication device and/or disciplinary action.

The Department issues and recalls telecommunication devices at its discretion and without prior notice. An employee could lose the use of a telecommunication device if his/her job functions change.



Telecommunication devices are intended exclusively for use by City employees who require voice communications on a 24 hour/7 day, emergency/work-related basis and/or those who spend the majority of their work hours in the field and must be in continual contact with a variety of locations.

Land based telephone service should always be the primary communications options. Cellular phones should never be used to make calls from City offices. In addition, users are responsible for reimbursing the City for all non-business calls.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) will submit all requests for cellular service to the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT) for its review.

General Services Division will designate an Agency Telecommunications Coordinator. This Telecommunications Coordinator coordinates the assignment and distribution of telecommunication devices and the bill review process.

  1. Conditions for Cellular Phone Assignment:

    Except for emergencies, City telephones including cellular phones should never be used for personal calls. Cellular service is not intended to replace regular telephone service.

  2. Service Request Fulfillment Terms and Conditions:

    Fulfillment of a cellular service request is subject to certain terms and conditions. They are:

    1. Equipment Accountability: The unit must be secured and its whereabouts known all times to the user and/or the Telecommunications Coordinator. Staff members should have the telecommunication device on their person at all times when they are on duty. A device should not be left in the assigned user's car when the vehicle is unattended or parked.

      Equipment functionality: Telecommunication device should be charged daily to ensure that is fully operational when the staff member is on duty.

    2. Equipment Ownership: The telecommunication device remains the property of DOB. It shall be surrendered upon request.

    3. Loss or Theft Notification Procedure: The user will notify the Telecommunications Coordinator of any problems with the telecommunication device, including loss of or theft, as soon as possible but no later than one (1) business day after the incident. In the event of theft, a copy of the police report must accompany a request for replacement. An incident report must be completed within 1 week of loss or theft.

    4. Transferring Cellular Equipment within an Agency: The equipment is for the sole use of the cellular user(s) listed in the request and cannot be given to any other group or individual for use. In all cases, the user on record will be held responsible for all charges. If the cellular user is being transferred, then the unit head must inform the Telecommunications Coordinator no later than one (1) business day after the reassignment. If the cellular user will not be utilizing the cellular telephone, then it must be returned to Telecommunications Coordinator.

    5. Employee Separation from City Service: Upon leaving City service or transfer to a different City position, the cellular unit must be returned to DOB.

    6. Equipment Purchases: The purchase of cellular telephone and ancillary equipment from other sources is prohibited and will not be paid for or maintained by DOB.

  3. Initiating a Request for Cellular Service: 

    1. Hard Copy: Request for service will only be accepted from the unit head. The request must be accompanied by an explanatory memo, which specifically documents the need. The request(s) should be sent to General Services, Attention: Telecommunications Coordinator.

  4. Changing a Request for Cellular Service: 

    1. All requests for a change in the service (i.e. adding cellular service to an existing radio) must be made in writing or e-mail by the Chief, Borough Manager or Unit Head. Individual users should not contact the Telecommunications Coordinator.

  5. Billing Procedures:

    Once cellular service is established for a user, the Telecommunications Coordinator will forward all bills to the Unit Head/Director. The Unit Head/Director is responsible for reviewing and distributing bills to staff in a timely manner. The user of the cellular telephone must review his/her bill and complete a reimbursement form (Attachment 2) if necessary, and return them to Telecommunications Coordinator within ten days of receipt of the bill. Each user is personally responsible for:

    1. Call Validation: The user(s) must review bills and identify each call by coding as Business-related (B), Non-Business (N) or Unknown (U). Unknown and excessive Non-Business may be forwarded to the Office of Investigations, Audits & Discipline (IAD) for follow-up. Except in cases of emergency, cellular service is for City business purposes only.

    2. Reimbursement: Reimburse the City for all non-business-related calls (N) Checks are to be made payable to the Department of Buildings.

    3. Bill Return: Return the Reimbursement Form and the bill with telephone calls identified and if necessary, include payment for emergency personal calls, to the Telecommunications Coordinator.

    Bill Proviso: Failure to review, code, sign and return these documents with appropriate payments on a timely basis may result in the cancellation of cellular service.

The City of New York Cellular Telephone Policy (PDF)