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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives


     Indian Health Manual
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Part 8 - Information Resources Management

Chapter 17 - Agency-Issued Cellular Telephones, Blackberry®
Smartphones, And Personal Digital Assistant Devices


Title Section
Introduction 8-17.1
    Purpose 8-17.1A
    Scope 8-17.1B
    Policy 8-17.1C
    Acronyms 8-17.1D
    Definitions 8-17.1E
Responsibilities 8-17.2
    Ordering Officials 8-17.2A
    First Level Supervisor 8-17.2B
    Second Level Supervisor 8-17.2C
    Property Management Officer/Asset Center Representative 8-17.2D
    Office of the Inspector General 8-17.2E
    Device User 8-17.2F
    Headquarters, Area, and Local IT Staff 8-17.2G
Requesting a Cellular Telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or PDA Device 8-17.3
    Employee 8-17.3A
    First Level Supervisor 8-17.3B
    Second Level Supervisor 8-17.3C
    Ordering Official 8-17.3D
    Contracting Officer's Technical Representative 8-17.3E
Rules for using a Cellular Telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or PDA Device 8-17.4
    Rules of Usage 8-17.4A
    Security 8-17.4B
    Abuse 8-17.4C

Exhibit Description
Manual Exhibit 8-17-A, Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement
Manual Exhibit 8-17-B, Personal Custody Property Record/Hand Receipt

8-17.1  INTRODUCTION

  1. Purpose.  This chapter establishes the Agency-specific policy and procedures for issuance and use of Agency-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and personal digital assistant (PDA) devices to Indian Health Service (IHS) users for the purpose of performing IHS work-related duties.  It also addresses the process for addressing the misuse of these devices.

  2. Scope. This chapter applies to all IHS employees, contract personnel, interns, externs, and other non-governmental employees, including consultants, temporary staff, and business representatives (hereinafter, collectively referred to as IHS “users”) who:

    1. Have been issued a cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or any other type of PDA device by the IHS.

    2. Are authorized to approve or terminate Agency user accounts for cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, or PDA devices.

    3. Control the distribution and payment for services related to the use of cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones and/or PDA devices.

  3. Policy.  An Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device shall only be authorized under the following circumstances:  When other means of communication (e.g., landline telephones, e-mail) are unavailable; the user’s requirements for data access are urgent; and other options are impractical.

  4. Acronyms.

    1. HHS -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    2. IHS -- Indian Health Service
    3. ISSO -- Information System Security Officer
    4. IT -- Information Technology
    5. OIT -- Office of Information Technology, IHS
    6. PDA -- Personal Digital Assistant
    7. SMS -- Short Message Services

  5. Definitions.

    1. BlackBerry® Smartphones.  The BlackBerry® smartphone is the standard electronic device used for the transmission and receipt of voice and e-mail communications throughout the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

    2. Personal Digital Assistant.  A PDA is an electronic device, a handheld computer, also known as a palmtop computer, typically used for scheduling and contact management.  Newer PDAs also have the ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly, allowing users to send and receive e-mail, and to browse the Internet.

    3. Short Message Services.  Short Message Services (SMS) is a communications protocol that supports the exchange of short text messages between mobile cellular telephone devices.

    4. Multimedia Messaging Services.  Multimedia Messaging Services is the telecommunications standard for telephone messaging systems that allow sending messages with multimedia objects (images, audio, video, rich text) and text.  It is mainly deployed in cellular networks along with other messaging systems like SMS, Mobile Instant Messaging, and Mobile e-mail.

8-17.2  RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Ordering Officials.  Designated IHS Ordering Officials are responsible for:

    1. Ordering, purchasing, and determining the most cost-effective calling plans for Agency-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, or PDA devices issued to IHS staff for the purpose of conducting official IHS business activities.

    2. Maintaining the device licensing information, including the device identification numbers.

    3. Administration and processing of electronic device user account data, including management and control of the “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement” forms and licensing agreements.  (See Manual Exhibit 8-17-A.)

    4. Consulting with the site (or user) requesting the service to determine the most cost-effective calling plans.

    5. Establishing service contracts and plans.

    6. Managing accounts and processing reimbursable charges.

    7. Deactivating accounts of users who do not complete the User Agreement on an annual basis.

  2. First Level Supervisor.

    1. Recommends the issuance of a cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device to his or her staff member.

    2. Maintains copies of all “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement” forms (Manual Exhibit 8-17-A) for staff assigned a cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device.

    3. Reports suspected abuses of cellular telephone or BlackBerry® smartphone privileges.

  3. Second Level Supervisor.

    1. Approves issuing a cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device to his or her staff member.

    2. Submits a request to the Ordering Official to cancel a cellular telephone or BlackBerry® smartphone account when it is no longer needed for the purpose of conducting official IHS business.

    3. Reports suspected abuses of cellular telephone or BlackBerry® smartphone privileges.

  4. Property Management Officer/Asset Center Representative.  Receives and processes Form HHS-439, “Personal Custody Property Record/Hand Receipt,” (Manual Exhibit 8-17-B) for all IHS-issued BlackBerry® smartphones or PDA devices.  Note:  Hand receipts will not be maintained on cellular telephones.

    (Form HHS-439: )

  5. Office of Inspector General.  May investigate suspected abuses of IHS-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and other electronic devices.

  6. Device User.  The device user (cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA) will use the IHS-issued device for messaging conducted on behalf of official IHS business and must adhere to the policy and procedures of this chapter.

  7. Headquarters, Area, and Local IT Staff.  All designated Headquarters, Area, and Local IT staff are responsible for:

    1. Conducting security investigations when an Agency-issued electronic device is lost or stolen and presumed to contain sensitive data.

    2. Adding the BlackBerry® Smartphone user to the BlackBerry® smartphone server and notifying the local IT staff of the password required to activate the unit.

    3. Resetting user passwords.

    4. Making changes as needed when a device is re-issued to another user.

8-17.3  REQUESTING A CELLULAR TELEPHONE, BLACKBERRY® SMARTPHONE, OR PDA DEVICE

  1. Employee.  When an employee and his or her first level supervisor determine an identified business need exists for the employee to use an Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or PDA device, the employee will:

    1. complete and sign a “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement,” (See Manual Exhibit 8-17-A) and

    2. submit the completed and signed form to his or her first level supervisor.

  2. First Level Supervisor.  The employee’s first level supervisor will indicate his or her approval or disapproval of the employee’s request for an Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or PDA device and submit the “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement,” to the second level supervisor.  After the second level supervisor returns the signed agreement to the first level supervisor:

    1. The first level supervisor will retain the original signed copy of the “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement,” in the employee’s personal administrative file.

    2. The first level supervisor will send a copy of the approved, “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement,” to the organization’s Ordering Official.

  3. Second Level Supervisor.  The second level supervisor will indicate his or her approval or disapproval of the employee’s request for an Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or PDA device and return the “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement,” to the first level supervisor.

    If the second level supervisor disapproves the request, he or she will attach a written explanation for his or her disapproval to the agreement.

  4. Ordering Official.  The organization’s Ordering Official will contact the service provider to order a cellular telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or a PDA device, or coordinate with the service provider to initiate or modify the terms of a user’s service plan.  The Ordering Official:

    1. Determines services needed by the account holder which may include:

      1. procurement of a cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device,

      2. creation of a new user account, and/or

      3. the deletion of an existing account.

    2. Orders the cellular telephone, Blackberry® Smartphone, PDA device, and device services, as needed.

    3. Notifies OIT staff to activate the device.

    4. Confirms that the user has received all requested services.

  5. Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative.  The Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative is responsible for:

    1. determining whether an identified business need exists for the use of an Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device, and

    2. granting permission for the use of an Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or a PDA device to assist in the performance of the contractor’s duties.

8-17.4  RULES FOR USING A CELLULAR TELEPHONE, BLACKBERRY® SMARTPHONE, OR PDA DEVICE

  1. Rules of Usage.

    1. Agency-authorized service plans are required for all IHS-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® Smartphones, or PDA devices.

    2. Agency-paid service plans cannot be assigned to a users personal cellular telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or PDA device.

    3. Personal use of IHS-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, or PDA devices for communication or data access is allowed on an occasional and incidental basis, unless prohibited in writing.  Personal usage should be brief and not violate IHS Standards of Conduct, as specified in the Part 8,Chapter 6, “Limited Personal Use of Information Technology Resources,” Indian Health Manual (IHM) and the IHS Rules of Behavior.

    4. There shall be no expectation of privacy when using Agency-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, PDA devices, e-mail, pin-to-pin messaging, SMS, Multimedia Messaging Services, or similar mobile devices.  All logs, data, and other files created while using an IHS-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or other PDA device are neither private, nor confidential.

    5. With the pace of technological change, extra services may be available on IHS-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and PDA devices that are not typically authorized by the IHS.  Since these extra services may incur additional costs to the Agency, the requesting user’s second level supervisor must authorize any additional service selected and pay for the charges associated with usage of these services.

    6. For cellular telephones and BlackBerry® smartphones, if there is an IHS business need to add additional features or services, the account holder’s second level supervisor must make a written request, with justification, to the Ordering Official.

    7. The “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement” (Manual Exhibit 8-17-A) must clearly state the user’s name, cellular telephone number if applicable, business need for the request, type of device, and an explanation of the reasons for the request, i.e., other means of communication (e.g., landline telephones, e-mail) are unavailable; the user’s requirements for data access are urgent; and other options are impractical.

  2. Security.

    1. Employees must complete and sign the “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement” (Manual Exhibit 8-17-A) and receive first level supervisor approval before approval of a request for an Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® Smartphone, or PDA device.  The “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement” details the user’s responsibilities in terms of security and usage limitations.

    2. Users of Agency-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and other PDA devices are bound by the terms and conditions of Part 8, Chapter 6,“Limited Personal Use of Information Technology Resources,” IHM, and the IHS Rules of Behavior.

    3. If an authorized user’s Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device is lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed:

      1. The authorized user will immediately notify the IHS ISSO or the Area ISSO should the incident occur in an Area Office.  The IHS ISSO or the Area ISSO will work with the OIT’s Division of Information Security to ensure that all data is erased and that the device is deactivated to prevent further use.

      2. If the IHS ISSO or the Area ISSO is unavailable, notify the IHS OIT Help Desk:

        1. the IHS OIT Help Desk toll-free number is (888) 830-7280

        2. the IHS OIT Help Desk via their local direct number (505) 248-4371

        3. the OIT Help Desk via e- mail address at support@ihs.gov

        4. the OIT Help Desk via facsimile at (505) 248-4363

      3. Submit Form HHS-342, “Report of Survey,” to the Property Management Officer/Asset Center Representative for processing.  The user must submit this form within three (3) business days after reporting the incident.  Form HHS-342 is located at the following Web site: http://intranet.hhs.gov/hr/ohr/forms/hhs_intranet_forms.html.

    4. Notify both the first and second level supervisors of the incident in writing, explaining the circumstances surrounding the incident.

    5. Agency-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and PDA devices are not approved for handling sensitive information unless properly encrypted.  Employees should exercise discretion when using Agency-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and PDA devices.

    6. Every Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, and PDA device must be configured to automatically lock-out after being inactive for a maximum of 30 minutes.  A user-defined password will be required to unlock the devices.

    7. See the “Cellular Telephone and BlackBerry® Smartphone Justification and User Agreement” (Manual Exhibit 8-17-A) for detailed security information.

  3. Abuse.

    1. The Ordering Official will make the first level supervisor aware of any suspected abuse.  The first level supervisor will investigate suspected abuses of IHS-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and similar electronic devices by researching cellular telephone charges and usage logs.

    2. The Office of Inspector General may also investigate suspected abuses of IHS-issued cellular telephones, BlackBerry® smartphones, and other similar electronic devices.

    3. A site may choose to terminate a user’s account, if abuse occurs.  The employee must return the Agency-issued cellular telephone, BlackBerry® smartphone, or PDA device to the first level supervisor and sign the original HHS-439 “Personal Custody Property Record/Hand Receipt” form, which is retained by the authorized property manager with a copy provided to the user.


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