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Mobile Communication Device Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) To formulate the overall framework for the management of mobile communication devices for La Trobe University.

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Section 2 - Scope/ Application

(2) Applies to:

  1. All campuses
  2. All staff
  3. All students
  4. All external affiliates
  5. All University purchases
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(3) The University provides devices (such as mobile phones, Tablet PCs and other mobile devices) that use data carrier and/or Wi-Fi services where there is a demonstrated business need.

(4) A device that uses a data carrier and/or WiFi offsite that has data download capabilities will only be issued to individuals, Colleges and Divisions where there is a demonstrated need to access data services for University related activities whilst off campus and/or out of business hour or if there is a compelling business requirement.

(5) Such devices will be supplied, subject to the definitions and conditions detailed in the Procedure contained herein.

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Section 4 - Procedures


(6) Procedure for the approval, purchase, management, use and disposal of mobile communication devices.

Type of Devices

(7) For the purpose of this procedure, the term ‘mobile communication devices’ will include:

  1. Standard mobile handset;
  2. Advanced mobile handset; and
  3. Advanced SIM and/or Wi-Fi enabled mobile device (such as tablets devices)

(8) A comprehensive list of approved mobile communication devices can be found at Mobile communication device webpage.

Eligibility Criteria for Allocation

(9) La Trobe University will provide a mobile communication device to staff where it is deemed necessary in order for them to undertake the duties listed in their position description, is written into their employment contract or specified within the letter of offer.

Individual Staff Members

(10) The type of mobile communication device for which staff are eligible will be determined by the inherent requirements of the staff member's role and subject to the approval of Senior Management. This will pertain to staff whose duties require them to spend time away from their normal workplace, and/or be contactable outside business hours, or a demonstrated requirement for this type of devices to perform their duties.

(11) This can include but is not limited to:

  1. a need for the staff member to be easily contactable at all times;
  2. a need for the staff member to be available outside business hours to assist with critical business functions;
  3. the staff member being required to make frequent and/or prolonged travel outside the campus locations. The role requires the incumbent to work across multiple locations/sites but remain contactable;
  4. a need for staff to work in location where there is limited access to a fixed phone. (eg, outdoor staff);
  5. a need for staff to perform a specific security or OH&S functions;
  6. a need for staff to be easily contactable by customers or external organisations; and
  7. the staff member being required to use these devices to provide support for the University community.

(12) Normally staff are restricted to having one data carrier (SIM) if they possess multiple mobile communication devices but this remains at the discretion of the approver.

(13) A staff member transferring to a different position within La Trobe may be required to hand back the mobile communication device and have the associated phone number re-assigned to another staff member.

Other Individuals

(14) University owned mobile communication device will be loaned at the discretion of the relevant Senior Executive.

College and Division

(15) There are occasions where a mobile communication device will be allocated to a College or Division rather than an individual, for example:

  1. a requirement to be on-call roster;
  2. the business function uses telemetry equipment;
  3. excursions and field trips;
  4. the business function has a need to use these devices to provide support for the University community.

(16) A specific member of staff must be nominated by manager at the executive level or their delegate to take responsibility for the allocated device and to oversee its use. It is incumbent on the responsible executive manager to notify ICT of the name and position of the nominee.

Responsibilities of Supervisor and Line Manager

(17) Manager at the executive level or their delegate has the responsibility for approving the purchase of mobile communication devices. Manager at the executive level must notify ICT ( of name and position of their nominated delegate.

(18) The line manager has the following supervisory responsibilities:

  1. assess which positions in their area need a mobile communication device and determine the appropriate type of device based on the criteria defined in this procedure. Where the device falls into the category of advanced mobile communication device, the supervisor must provide justification needed as part of the procurement process;
  2. ensure users undergoes appropriate training and observe the appropriate Statutes, Policies and Procedures;
  3. ensure devices are only obtained through approved channels, eg Mobile communication device webpage;
  4. ensure users are aware of the need to arrange access to global roaming (voice and/or data) with ICT for their device if user is travelling overseas on official University business;
  5. approve the use of global roaming (voice and/or data) for official overseas travel;
  6. assess and authorise requests from users to take University owned mobile communication device with them while on personal leave if there is a demonstrated business need. Counsel the user on the need to make alternative arrangement for voice and data services while overseas.
  7. notify ICT when re-allocating a mobile communication device;
  8. request ICT cancel accounts for unused mobile communication devices and return the unused devices and SIM to ICT;
  9. must make user aware that mobile communication device usage will be monitored and the mobile communication device users may be required to justify their use;
  10. must on receipt of the periodic account monitor the usage of the device;
  11. may request users to identify any personal use of the device and may request the user to reimburse the University for the cost associated with personal use.

(19) Governance Services are responsible for members of the University Senior Governance Committees who are external affiliates and students. For consultants and casual employees, the responsible College  or Division will take on the role of supervising the use of the device. The Governance Services and the responsible College or Division has the same supervisory responsibilities as the line manager in relation to these individuals and their University loaned device.

Responsibilities of Mobile Communication Device Users

(20) Mobile communication devices owned by the University are to be used appropriately, responsibly, and ethically. Mobile communication device users are responsible for any and all activities associated with that device. The use of these devices is subject to the Use of Computer Facilities Statute 2009. In addition, users of these devices must observe the following:

  1. familiarise themselves with the Use of Computer Facilities Statute 2009 and this policy;
  2. ensure the use of device abides by the statutes, policies and procedures of the University;
  3. immediately report lost/stolen/broken mobile communication devices to ICT via or contact the ICT service desk;
  4. familiarise themselves with operating the device, and take time to read and understand the instructions and manuals provided, and seek clarification if required;
  5. check the billing account for accuracy and inform ICT at of any problems;
  6. where appropriate, organise with ICT to publish the number in the University staff on-line directory;
  7. return the device and SIM to their line manager if the device is no longer required;
  8. must take reasonable care of the device, maintain the device in good working order subject to reasonable wear and tear, and take all reasonable precaution to prevent loss, damage or theft;
  9. University mobile communication devices must not be used to access premium services;
  10. avoid incurring international roaming charges associate with voice and data usage, however where there is a demonstrated need for international voice and/or data services, make appropriate arrangement with ICT for global roaming (voice and/or data);
  11. must ensure important corporate data and information stored on the mobile communication device is backed up;
  12. take all practicable steps to secure the mobile communication device and the information contained within the device;
  13. if it is a requirement to take University owned mobile communication device while on personal leave, the user must seek permission from the approving supervisor and make alternative arrangement for access to data and voice services if travelling overseas;
  14. to prevent malware, avoid installing software from non-verified sources on University mobile communication device;
  15. keep data cost at a minimum. Where available, users should access data on their mobile communication device via free wi-fi service;

Personal Use of University Mobile Communication Device and/or Services

(21) Mobile communication devices are issued to users on the condition that the device is used sensibly and economically. Personal use is permitted so long as such use is fair and reasonable. Determination of use beyond fair and reasonable will be made by the Chief Financial Officer, Information Communication Technology in consultation with the Executive Director, Human Resources, Chief Financial Officer, the staff's line manager and/or the responsible senior executive. Where personal use is above and beyond fair and reasonable, the user is required to reimburse the University for personal expenses incurred using the University owned mobile communication device.

Purchasing of Mobile Communication Device

(22) Unless specifically authorised by the CIO, users are not permitted to enter into any telephony and/or data plan with any carrier on behalf of the University, regardless of funding source or device ownership. Unauthorised plans will be cancelled, and the carrier advised to recover costs from the user responsible for entering into the plan.

(23) The following applies to the purchase of University owned mobile communication device:

  1. all new and replacement mobile communication devices must be requisitioned through the Mobile communication device webpage;
  2. the University will determine which carrier it purchases SIM-enabled mobile services from;
  3. the University reserves the right to change carriers;
  4. the University will determine the suppliers of the SIM enabled mobile communication devices;
  5. the University will determine the approved standard mobile communication devices to meet the defined business requirements, accounting for coverage;
  6. purchases of non-standard mobile communication devices will be deemed not supported by the University; and 
  7. under no circumstances will the University cover the cost for plans entered into privately whether on University or privately owned phones.

Termination of Employment

(24) All University owned mobile communication devices and associated accessories including SIM card are to be returned to the line manager upon termination of relationship with the University. For external affiliates who are members of a University Senior Committee, the line manager is Governance Services. For other individuals, the device and accessories are to be returned to the relevant person in their area. For individuals based in a College, this is the College General Manager or their delegate, for Division, it is the Executive Director or their delegates.

(25) All equipment should be returned in good order subject to reasonable wear and tear. The line manager is responsible for returning the device, SIM card and accessories to ICT via the ICT service desk unless an alternative arrangement is made with ICT by the manager at the executive level or their delegate. Should the device not be returned to the University or not returned in good working order, the University will take measures to recover the costs. This could include legal action.

(26) If requested, the University may agree to transfer mobile phone numbers registered in its name to departing staff members where the staff member has had exclusive use of the number, providing the transfer takes effect prior to the termination date.

(27) This does not apply where the mobile phone number was allocated to a business function or published in a corporate publication (excludes personal business cards).

(28) Payment of any costs associated with the transfer, such as a cancellation of contract fee is at the discretion of the manager at the executive level or their delegate. Any such costs will be borne by the approving College or Division.

(29) The University will reallocate the number or cancel the service if the transfer is not in effect prior to the termination date.

Transfer of Mobile Device

(30) A mobile communication device may be transferred to another user subject to criteria outlined in section 2 of this procedure. Relevant managers at the executive level or their delegate must provide approval for this to take place. It is the responsibility of the manager at the executive level or their delegate to notify ICT ( of the name, position and contact details of the old and the new user.

(31) The use of the mobile communication device remains the responsibility of the registered device user and their College or Division up until formal notification is received by ICT ( with details of the new user and the transfer date for the device.

(32) When the mobile communication device is no longer required by the College or Division, the line manager must formally request ICT ( to cancel the service and the device must be returned to ICT service desk.

Disposal of Mobile Device

(33) All broken or unwanted University mobile communication devices are to be returned to ICT service desk at Melbourne campus or Bendigo campus. These devices will be disposed of in an appropriate manner.

Use of Non-University Equipment

(34) Users are permitted to use a personal mobile communication device to access the University's network and facilities. All such use is subject to the Use of Computer Facilities Statute 2009 and any other applicable policies and procedures.

(35) Where staff have a reasonable claim for the costs of genuine business use of personal mobile communication device they may submit a request for reimbursement. Reimbursement is subject to Incurring Expenditure Procedure and Payment of Moneys due to Staff Members Procedure.

(36) The business use of personal mobile communication device and the reimbursement of costs must have the approval by the relevant line manager. Where possible approval must be obtained prior to incurring the costs.

Replacement of Existing Device

(37) Replacement of a lost or damaged device is subject to approval by the relevant line manager. Replacements for lost or damaged devices may not be new or equivalent device.

(38) The University may choose to replace the mobile communication device for reasons of changing business requirement or technological changes.


(39) The University reserves the right to monitor usage of University owned mobile communication devices. All activities relating to monitoring are subject to Privacy – Personal Information Policy and the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. All monitoring request requires appropriate business justification and written approval from manager at executive level.

(40) The use of University owned mobile communication device are subject to the conditions outlined in the Use of Computing Facilities Statue 2009, the Code of Conduct and include additional conditions as follow:

  1. line manager(s) and/or relevant senior management are provided with regular summary usage report for the purpose of monitoring usage against this policy;
  2. where there is a suspicion of misuse, itemised bills will be made available to the direct line manager(s) and/or relevant senior executive;
  3. the University will from time to time audit the records of a University issued mobile communication device to ensure compliance with this procedure and any specific budget guidelines as part of its regular audit cycle.

Revoking a Mobile Communication Device

(41) University management regularly review mobile communication device usage. The University reserves the right to revoke approval for a University mobile communication device at any time.


(42) Mobile communication devices contain confidential, personal and sensitive corporate information. The University will impose security requirements to protect the data. This includes steps outline in the Use of Computer Facilities Statue 2009 (section 7).

(43) All University owned mobile communication devices must be configured to require a password, PIN or biometric identification to be entered in order to gain access to the device.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(44) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Advance handset - a device capable of delivering voice, SMS, MMS, mobile email, internet, "apps" and video conferencing services as specified in the Mobile communication device webpage.
  2. Android OS - open source operating system for mobile devices from Google.
  3. Budgetary heads - Pro Vice-Chancellors, Divisional Directors and above.
  4. Carrier - supplier for mobile telephone and/or data services (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3, etc).
  5. Contracted supplier - vendor currently supplying devices to the University.
  6. eBook reading device - hand held reading devices (usually using Electronic paper technology from the E Ink corporation).
  7. iOS - operating system for mobile devices from Apple Inc.
  8. La Trobe Intranet -
  9. Line manager - Staff direct line reporting supervisor.
  10. Manager at executive level - Pro-Vice Chancellors, Divisional Directors and above.
  11. Mobile communication device - includes mobile handset, smartphones and other mobile devices (including Tablet PCs) that have similar functions and access services via Wi-Fi or mobile data networks.
  12. Mobile service packages - charging plan for SIM enabled mobile device. 
  13. Multimedia device - any mobile device capable of sending or receiving multimedia message (MMS).
  14. Other individuals - external to the University, include external consultant and external committee member.
  15. Personal or private calls - calls or charges unrelated to University business. Brief calls related to traffic or work delays are not considered personal or private.
  16. Senior Management - Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Vice-Presidents and Pro Vice-Chancellors.
  17. SIM - Subscriber Identity Module. SIM card is a memory card that determines the phone number. 
  18. SIM enabled - a device that holds a SIM card internally or has capability to connect to a device that holds a SIM card internally.
  19. SIM enabled mobile device - a device that holds a SIM card internally or has capability to connect to a SIM enable device. This can include traditional mobile phones or devices using Android OS, Blackberry OS, iOS or Windows Mobile/Windows Phone. Notebooks (laptops), NetBooks and Tablet Computers/PC are considered mobile device.
  20. SMS - Short Messaging Service.
  21. Standard handset - a device capable of delivering voice, SMS and basic data services such as email and internet services as specified in the Mobile communication device webpage.
  22. Premium services - additional services not included with the basic mobile phone subscription. These services usually require additional monthly subscription or additional charges per service request. Examples of these types of services are: Pay TV services, Alert services, Voice2Text and Video calling.
  23. Premium SMS or 19 SMS - information and entertainment services that deliver various forms of content to mobile phone. They can be purchased by making a phone call, sending a text message, or request via the internet from your mobile.
  24. Users - refer to staff and others who have been allocated a University owned mobile communication device.
  25. Wi-Fi - wireless communication protocol.
  26. Wi-Fi enabled devices - include traditional mobile phones and smartphone. Also include other device using Android OS, Blackberry OS, Windows Mobile/Windows Phone or iOS platform, along with Notebooks, NetBooks and Tablet Computers/PC that use Wi-Fi capabilities.
  27. Wi-Fi offsite - wireless communication outside of the University environment.
  28. Windows Mobile/Windows Phone - mobile operating system from Microsoft.
  29. Wireless carrier - company that provide free or charged wireless service. 
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Section 6 - Stakeholders

Responsibility for implementation – Strategic Sourcing and Procurement; Information Communication Technology; Pro Vice-Chancellors; Vice-Chancellor; Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and Chief Financial Officer.
Responsibility for monitoring implementation and compliance – Director, Financial Operations; and Manager, Communication and Security, ICT.