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Mobile Communication Device Policy

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) To define the overall framework for the purchase, supply, management, use and disposal of mobile communication devices at La Trobe University.

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Section 2 - Scope

(2) Applies to:

  1. All campuses;
  2. All staff;
  3. All students;
  4. All external affiliates.

(3) This Policy excludes fixed devices that operate using a SIM such as IoT devices used by I&O and emergency phones used in building elevators.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) The University provides mobile communication devices (as defined within this Policy – see Definitions section) that use data carrier and/or Wi-Fi services where there is a demonstrated business need.

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

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

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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - General

(7) These Procedures apply to mobile communication devices as defined within this Policy (see Definitions section).

(8) A comprehensive list of approved mobile communication devices can be found at Mobile Device Support (Intranet). This list is updated periodically by the Information Services (IS) Executive to ensure it remains current.

Part B - Purchase of Mobile Communication Devices & Services

(9) Unless specifically authorised in writing by the Chief Information Officer (CIO), users are not permitted to enter into any mobile, data and/or telephony plan with any carrier on behalf of the University, regardless of funding source or device ownership. There should be no plans entered into on behalf of the University independent of IS, whether on University or privately-owned phones. Unauthorised plans will be cancelled, and the carrier may be advised to recover costs from the user responsible for entering into the plan.

(10) The following applies to the procurement of University owned mobile communication devices:

  1. all new and replacement mobile communication devices must be requisitioned through the Mobile Device Support (Intranet);
  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. independent purchases of mobile communication devices will not be reimbursed by the University and University Purchasing Cards must not be used for such purchases; and
  7. all contracts for calls, text and data should be entered into through IS under this contract. 

(11) Budgetary Heads are responsible for approving the purchase of mobile communication devices within their area.

(12) Any non-standard device request for mobile communication devices must be approved by both IS & the Budget Holder to ensure the business requirements cannot be met with the standard device.

(13) The requirements in this section do not apply to equipment and services funded exclusively with external research funds.

Part C - Eligibility Criteria for Mobile Communication Devices & Services

(14) La Trobe University will provide a mobile communication device to a staff member where it is:

  1. deemed necessary in order for them to undertake the duties listed in their position description; or
  2. is written into their employment contract; or
  3. is specified within the letter of offer.

(15) Staff are restricted to having one data carrier (SIM) per person. Requests for exceptions to this must be approved in writing by the relevant Budget Holder.

(16) Whether staff are eligible for a mobile communication device will be determined by the inherent requirements of the staff member’s role and subject to approval by the Budget Head.

(17) Requests for iPads are required to include a justification in the ASK Services request that is endorsed by the line manager and financial approver. Staff are only eligible for an iPad/Tablet where:

  1. IS is satisfied there is a legitimate, demonstrated business need (specifying either WiFi or Cellular connection) that cannot be met by the staff member’s computing device;
  2. IS is satisfied there is a legitimate, demonstrated research need (specifying either WiFi or Celluar connection).

(18) 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;
  4. the role requires the incumbent to work across multiple locations/sites but remain contactable;
  5. a need for staff to work in location where there is limited access to a fixed phone (e.g. outdoor staff);
  6. a need for staff to perform a specific security or OH&S function;
  7. a need for staff to be easily contactable by customers or external organisations; and
  8. the staff member being required to use these devices to provide support for the University community.

(19) A staff member transferring to a different position within the University may be required to return the mobile communication device and have the associated phone number re-assigned to another staff member.

Part D - Colleges and Divisions

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

  1. locked iPads for use exclusively on Open Days/events;
  2. a requirement to be on an on-call roster;
  3. the business function uses telemetry equipment;
  4. excursions and field trips;
  5. the business function has a need to use these devices to provide support for the University community;
  6. temporary use by a University visitor (including honorary and adjunct academics).

(21) A specific member of staff must be nominated by the Budgetary Head to take responsibility for the allocated device and to oversee its use. It is incumbent on the responsible nominated staff member to maintain an accurate written record of the devices allocated to the work area, and who they have been allocated to, at all times, and to present this upon request to IS.

Part E - Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Line Managers

(22) The Line Manager has the following supervisory responsibilities:

  1. assess which positions in their area need a mobile communication device;
  2. ensure users understand and observe the appropriate Statutes, Policies and Procedures;
  3. ensure devices are only obtained through approved channels, i.e. Mobile Device Support (Intranet);
  4. ensure users are aware of the need to arrange access to global roaming (voice and/or data) with IS via ASK Services for their device if they are 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 a University owned mobile communication device with them while on planned personal leave beyond three months if there is a demonstrated business need. Advise the user on the need to make alternative arrangements for voice and data services while overseas;
  7. request IS (via ASK Services) cancel accounts for unused mobile communication devices and return the unused devices and SIM to IS;
  8. make users aware that mobile communication device usage will be monitored and that they may be required to justify their use;
  9. on receipt of the periodic account monitor the usage of the device;
  10. 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.

(23) The Planning and Governance Division is responsible for ensuring that the Chancellor and members of the University Council have access to appropriate mobile devices to support them during their term as a Council member.

(24) For consultants and casual employees, the line manager or consultant sponsor in the responsible College or Division will take on the role of supervising the use of the device and have the same supervisory responsibilities as the line manager in relation to these individuals and their University loaned device.

Responsibilities of Users

(25) Mobile communication devices owned by the University are to be used appropriately, responsibly and ethically. Users are responsible for all activities associated with the 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 IS via ASK Services;
  4. familiarise themselves with operating the device; take time to read and understand the instructions and manuals provided, and seek clarification if required;
  5. where appropriate, organise with IS via ASK Services to publish the number in the University staff on-line directory;
  6. return the device and SIM to their line manager if the device is no longer required or upon request;
  7. must take reasonable care of the device, maintain the device in good working order subject to reasonable wear and tear, and take all reasonable precautions to prevent loss, damage or theft. Any repairs or replacements will be funded by the department;
  8. where necessary, arrange device repair via IS or IS's designated channels/suppliers as outlined in ASK Services;
  9. University mobile communication devices must not be used to access premium services;
  10. avoid incurring international roaming charges associated with voice and data usage, however where there is a demonstrated need for international voice and/or data services, make appropriate arrangements with IS via ASK Services 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 planned personal leave beyond three months, 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 a secured wi-fi service.

Part F - Termination of Employment

(26) 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.

(27) All equipment should be returned in good working order subject to reasonable wear and tear.

(28) The Line Manager is responsible for returning the device, SIM card and accessories to IS via the IS Service Desk unless an alternative arrangement is made with IS by the Budget Head. 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 of the device. This could include legal action.

(29) 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 within one month of the termination date. 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). Payment of any costs associated with the transfer, such as a cancellation of contract fee is at the discretion of the Budget Head. Any such costs will be borne by the approving College or Division.

(30) The University will reallocate the number or cancel the service if the transfer is not in effect one month after the termination date.

(31) These conditions also apply to employees who move to a role which no longer sees them eligible for a mobile communication device.

Part G - Transfer of Mobile Device & Service

(32) When a mobile communication device is no longer required by an individual, the College or Division line manager must return the device to the IS Service Desk. Where appropriate, IS may reissue the device after ensuring it is in proper working order.

Part H - Broken or Unwanted Mobile Devices

(33) All broken or unwanted University mobile communication devices are to be returned to IS Service Desk. These devices will be disposed of, repaired or reused appropriately. Any costs associated with improper device care will be passed onto the holder’s cost-centre.

(34) IS will manage the disposal or salvage of all Mobile Communication Devices at its discretion. This includes requests for individuals to purchase broken/unwanted devices to ensure that the device has been appropriately wiped/restored to factory settings and that fair market value for the used device is applied.

Part I - IS Initiated Service Termination and Device Revocation

(35) The University may, at its discretion, independently terminate services as part of its fleet management operations. Automatic termination may be initiated in situations including but not limited to:

  1. SIM has not registered usage in at least four months;
  2. SIM is registered as assigned to an employee whose employment was terminated.

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

Part J - Device Disposal, Refresh & Replacement

(37) The device is to be returned to IS Service Desk at end-of-life.

(38) The 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 and are at the discretion of IS.

(39) The University may choose to replace the mobile communication device for reasons of changing business requirement or technological changes. The standard device refresh period is 36 months.

Part K - Monitoring

(40) The University reserves the right to monitor usage of University owned mobile communication devices. All monitoring requests require appropriate business justification and written approval from the relevant Senior Executive Group member.

(41) The use of University owned mobile communication devices are subject to the conditions outlined in the Use of Computer Facilities Statute 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 Policy and any specific budget guidelines as part of its regular audit cycle.

Part L - Security

(42) Mobile communication devices may 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 Statute 2009.

(43) All University owned mobile communication devices will be centrally managed and accessed via a MDM. All devices must be configured with a password, PIN or biometric identification in order to gain access to the device.

(44) The University is entitled to implement settings to enable the remote wiping of the device at any time if there is a security issue with the device. Users are advised to ensure that any personal content on the device such as photographs and videos are backed up elsewhere.

Part M - Use of Personal Devices

(45) 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.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(46) For the purposes of this policy:

  1. Android OS: open source operating system for mobile devices from Google.
  2. Budgetary Heads: Could include College Provosts, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Divisional Directors, Heads of School and above.
  3. Carrier: supplier for mobile telephone and/or data services (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, 3, etc).
  4. Contracted supplier: vendor currently supplying devices to the University.
  5. iOS: operating system for mobile devices from Apple Inc. This also includes iPadOS.
  6. Line Manager: Staff direct line reporting supervisor.
  7. Manager at executive level: College Provosts, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Divisional Directors and above.
  8. 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.
  9. Mobile service packages: charging plan for SIM enabled mobile device.
  10. Multimedia device: any mobile device capable of sending or receiving multimedia message (MMS).
  11. Other individuals: external to the University, including external consultants and external committee members.
  12. 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.
  13. Senior Management: Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Vice-Presidents, College Provosts and Pro Vice-Chancellors.
  14. SIM: Subscriber Identity Module. SIM card is a memory card that determines the phone number.
  15. SIM enabled: a device that holds a SIM card internally or has capability to connect to a device that holds a SIM card internally.
  16. 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 or iOS.
  17. SMS: Short Messaging Service.
  18. Standard handset: a device capable of delivering voice, SMS and basic data services such as email and internet services as specified in the Mobile Device Support (Intranet).
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Users: staff and others who have been allocated a University owned mobile communication device.
  22. Wi-Fi: wireless communication protocol.
  23. Wi-Fi enabled devices: includes traditional mobile phones and smartphones. Also includes other devices using Android OS or iOS platform, along with Notebooks and Tablet Computers/PC that use Wi-Fi capabilities.
  24. Wi-Fi offsite: wireless communication outside of the University environment.
  25. Wireless carrier: company that provides free or charged wireless service.