Office of Internal Auditing

EIU Policies and Procedures

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Internal Governing Policies


 

#101 - Telephone Usage


Approved: July 16, 1997

Monitor: Vice President for Business Affairs


The following policies are established in accordance with requirements of the State of Illinois, Department of Central Management Services.

Supervisors are responsible for training new employees in the proper use of the telephone system to preclude unnecessary charges.

Third-station toll calls may not be charged to a University number.

Collect calls shall not be accepted except in emergency situations.

Holders of University telephone credit cards are responsible for safeguarding the charge code numbers.

a. The intent of this policy is to permit Eastern Illinois University (EIU) employees to make reasonable use of EIU telephone systems as defined in subsections (b) and (c) of this Section and, at the same time, to guard against telephone abuse.

b. The use of EIU telephone services is limited to official business. Official business calls include emergency calls that are in the best interests of EIU. A call shall be considered as authorized in the best interests of EIU if it meets the following criteria:

    1. It does not adversely affect the performance of official duties by the employee or the employee's organization,
    2. It is of reasonable duration and frequency, in accordance with subsection (c) of this Section, and
    3. It could not have reasonably, in accordance with subsection (c) of this Section, been made during non-working hours.

c. Examples of circumstances that fall under the above guidelines include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. An employee is required to work overtime without advance notice and calls within the local commuting area (the area from which the employee regularly commutes) to advise his or her family of the change in schedule or to make alternate transportation of child or elder-care arrangements.
    2. An employee makes a brief call to locations within the local commuting area to speak to spouse, minor children, elderly parent, or those responsible for them (e.g., school or day care center, nursing home, etc.).
    3. The employee makes brief calls within the local commuting area that can be reached only during working hours, such as a local government agency or a physician.
    4. An employee makes brief calls to locations within the local commuting area to arrange for emergency repairs to his or her residence or automobile.
    5. While on official business, the employee makes a call of three minutes or less to announce safe arrival, delay or a change in plans. The employer may request written confirmation from the employee that a call qualifies under this subsection.

  Brief shall mean the time it takes to accomplish the purpose of the call.

d. A personal call made during working hours that falls under the guidelines, but is not representative of the examples given in Sections (c)(1), (2), (3) and (4) is permitted if:

    1. It is charged to the employee's home phone number or other non-government number,
    2. It is made to an "800" toll-free number,
    3. It is charged to the called party if a non-state number, or
    4. It is charged to a personal credit card

e. For any use of EIU telephones beyond the parameters of this policy, employees shall be charged actual billed charges.

f. The employee shall reimburse EIU for toll and other charges by personal check payable to Eastern Illinois University. If the employing department presents a statement of itemized telephone calls to an EIU employee and the employee fails to reimburse EIU voluntarily for those calls which fall outside the parameters of the telephone usage policy within 30 days, or if it is determined that the employee has abused the telephone usage policy, the employee shall be charged actual billed charges plus $1.00 per minute for long distance calls and $.50 per minute for local calls.  These rates are intended to cover the cost of the calls and the administrative costs associated with reviewing bills and processing payments.  If not paid within 30 days of billing, collection action will be instituted through appropriate legal means.

Discipline

Employees are put on notice that payment of toll and other charges for personal use of the University telephone system does not prevent Eastern Illinois University from instituting appropriate disciplinary action.