Fermilab Core Computing Division
Fermilab Core Computing Division

Telecommunications - Cellular Purchase Guidelines

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In order to be eligible to purchase a cellular phone for government business use at Fermilab, one of the following criteria must be met. The requestor is:

  • a Full or Part-time employee of Fermilab (Supervisor approval required).
  • a DOE employee; employed at the Fermilab site (FSO manager approval required).
  • a Visitor or Contractor – ONLY if the purchase is approved by the appropriate Division/Section/Center (D/S/C) Head

Note: D/S/C Head sign-off is then also required on monthly usage invoices. Additionally, an employee must purchase the cell phone for the visitor’s use (and will henceforth be considered the custodian). The Visitor or Contractor will be recorded as the “user” of the phone.


Phone Selection
The Telecommunications Office can provide details of the phones currently available from the Lab’s cellular providers. Interested persons may either visit the Telecommunications office in Wilson Hall – 5W or reach us by phone at x5411. Please note that not all phones offered by the cellular provider are made available for purchase. Telecommunications reserves the right to decline the purchase of any phone which is considered extravagant or otherwise not essential to the performance of job functions. All cell phones and associated equipment purchased through Telecommunications for Lab use requires a valid project and task code.


Calling Plan Selection
Telecommunications will also assist in selecting an appropriate calling plan for any new phone purchased. A wide variety of call plans are available and they may be adjusted at any time to fit the user’s needs without additional charges or penalties. Additionally, Telecommunications may periodically make recommendations to adjust a plan that is not aligned with the usage on an account. All calling plan changes should be submitted to the Telecommunications Office on a Call Plan Change form that has been approved by their supervisor. This form may also be requested by calling x5411.


Purchase Procedures
Once a phone and calling plan have been selected, Telecom will provide the employee with a paper purchase requisition to be competed and returned to our office for processing. All purchases require the signature of the requestor’s supervisor (Div/Sec Heads making purchases are excluded). All data device purchases must also be approved by the CIO and accompanied by both a Remote Access Agreement and Data Device Justification. Orders will not be accepted without all required approval signatures.


Cellular phones are only to be purchased through Telecommunications. Orders should not be submitted to Procurement or placed using your department’s ProCard.


Cellular accessories (batteries, cases, chargers, etc.) may be purchased online or at retail stores with your department’s ProCard, or by submitting a requisition to the Telecommunications Office.


Employee Responsibilities
Cellular devices purchased by Fermilab are to be used for conducting official Lab business. When an employee picks up a new cellular phone, they are required to read and sign an appropriate use statement obligating them to abide by the policy.

Custodians of smartphones or other wireless data devices are responsible for ensuring a Remote Access Agreement is on file with the H.R. Records Office and that the asset is maintained on an FNAL Property Pass.

Employees are not to contact the cellular provider directly regarding their Fermilab cellular account without prior authorization from Telecommunications unless it is to report a lost/stolen phone or a service outage during non-business hours.


Justification of Monthly Call Activity
Each month, employees will be asked to review their call activity and verify whether the calls were for official Lab business or personal use. Charges for personal calls are to be reimbursed by taking payment to the Fermilab Cashier. In any case, all monthly invoices reflecting usage must be signed by BOTH the employee and his/her supervisor before being returned to Telecommunications according to the directions in the memo accompanying the invoice.


Fermilab will not reimburse employees for recurring monthly charges associated with personal phones which were purchased by the employee. However, employees may receive reimbursement for usage charges incurred on their personal phone if the calls directly pertained to Fermilab business (e.g: while working an on-call shift or on Fermilab approved travel). Employees may submit a petty cash voucher, along with a copy of their invoice and a brief explanation of the charges, to the Fermilab Cashier to receive a reimbursement.


Lost/Stolen Phones
Lost or stolen phones should be reported to Telecommunications immediately, so that service may be suspended with the cellular provider. The custodian of the phone will also need to file an incident report with Fermilab Security by contacting ext. 3414.


Service Cancellation/Equipment Disposition
Only the Telecommunications Department may contact the cellular service provider to disconnect service on a Fermilab cell phone. If an employee wishes to cancel service on a Fermilab cellular device, they must notify Telecommunications and submit their cellular equipment to our office for excessing. Accessories may be retained by the purchasing D/S/C for use by other Fermilab employees. Any cellular service that is disconnected before the contract expiration date may be subject to an Early Termination Fee of $175.00 or higher.


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