Fermilab Core Computing Division
Fermilab Core Computing Division

Telecommunications - Cellular Purchase Guidelines



How to Purchase a Cellular Device
Approval Process
Picking Up your Lab-Owned Cellular Device
Rules and Responsibilities for Using Lab-owned Cellular Devices
Additional Information for Users and Custodians of Lab-owned Cellular Devices



  • CIO or Deputy CIO approval is required for any cellular phone purchase.
  • In addition, in order to be eligible to purchase a cellular phone for government business use at Fermilab, the requestor must be:
    • A full- or part-time Fermilab employee: Supervisor approval required
    • A DOE employee employed at the Fermilab site: FSO manager approval required
    • A visitor or contractor:  Division/section/center head approval required; D/S/C head signoff also required on monthly usage invoices. The cell phone must be purchased by a lab employee, who will be considered the custodian; the visitor or contractor will be considered the user.
  • The lab reserves the right to decline the purchase of any phone which is considered extravagant or otherwise not essential to the performance of job functions.

How to Purchase a Cellular Device

  1. Complete the guided Purchase Cellular Phone or Tablet form on the Service Desk website.
  2. As you fill out the form, appropriate cell phones and plans will be shown for your selection, along with phone costs and estimated monthly service charges.
  3. A task code is required and will be used to purchase the phone and for subsequent monthly service charges.
  4. A justification must be entered for the request.
  5. Submit the request. This will start the approval process.

Approval Process for Lab-owned Cellular Devices

There are three levels of approval required prior to obtaining a cellular phone.
  1. The custodian will receive an email notification to review the order. The custodian must read the Remote Access Agreement which will be linked in the email, and click "AGREE."
  2. The custodian's supervisor will receive an email notification to review the justification and approve or reject the cell phone order via the Service Desk website.
  3. The Deputy CIO will receive an email notification to review the justification and approve or reject the cell phone order via the Service Desk website.
Once all approvals have been obtained, the cell phone will be ordered.
Any rejections during the approval process will cancel the request and the requestor will be notified.

Picking Up your Lab-owned Cellular Devices

  1. Once your cell phone has been received, the custodian will receive a Service Desk notification that the phone is ready for pick-up.
    Once notified, you can pick up your phone between the hours of 8 a.m.to Noon or 1 to 4 pm., M-F excluding lab holidays.
  2. During the device pick-up, the custodian must sign a property pass allowing the device to be taken offsite. (The form has an area to specify an authorized user of the item if that is someone other than the custodian.)

Rules and Responsibilities for Using Lab-owned Cellular Devices

  • Cellular phones are only to be purchased through Telecommunications by following the instructions above. Orders should not be submitted via purchase order or ProCard.
  • Cellular devices purchased by Fermilab are to be used for conducting official lab business.
  • Custodians of smartphones or other wireless data devices are responsible for ensuring a Telework Agreement is on file with WDRS via FermiWorks.
  • A copy of the signed Fermilab Property Pass should be kept with the device at all times.
  • 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.

Additional Information for Users and Custodians of Lab-owned Cellular Devices 

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 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, they must notify Telecommunications and submit their cellular equipment to our office on WH5W. 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 at the expense of the custodian's organization.

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