California Department of Transportation
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Clark Paulsen, Division Chief

Cellular Telephone Purchase and Use

References: Executive Order B-1-11, Caltrans IT Policy.

The Division of Information Technology (IT) administers the usage and purchase of telecommunication equipment, which includes cellular phones and cell phone accessories.

Caltrans Wireless Telecommunications Management Manual

Employees who require cellular phones and cellular phone accessories for state business use are required to contact their Telecommunications Coordinator (DPAC) to secure the necessary equipment. Employees who occasionally need a cellular phone to meet their business needs should use loaner or pool cellular phones.

Reimbursement for the purchase of cellular phones and cellular phone accessories is prohibited.

The department provides cellular phones and cellular phone accessories. Purchases for these items received on travel expense claims will not be reimbursed. Employees will be instructed to contact their Telecommunications Coordinator for assistance.

Business calls made on personally owned cellular phones are not reimbursable. Exceptions may be considered only in instances of an emergency or when the absence of communication would be detrimental to public safety.

Reimbursement Claims

When a personal cellular phone call meets the criteria of an emergency or public safety issue, the expense should be submitted on a travel expense claim (TEC) and approved by the employee's supervisor. The cost of the phone call should be recorded in the business expense column of the TEC and charged to Object Code 001. The TEC must include the following information:

  • The original phone bill (shown as paid).
  • Highlighted identification of the phone call claimed as a business expense.
  • A complete description of the emergency or safety issue.

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