Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
Category Information Technology
Type Policy
Approved byVice-Chancellor
Date Policy Took Effect 14 August 2017
Last approved revision 28 March 2024
Sponsor Chief Digital Officer
Responsible officer Head of IT Infrastructure


To ensure the appropriate purchase and use of mobile devices connected to the University mobile plan.

Organisational scope

This policy applies to all mobile devices and/or mobile device accounts funded by the University.


Mobile Device
Any device that connects to a cellular network (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, SIM card or mobile data stick).
University Mobile Device
A mobile device purchased by the University.
External Mobile Device
A mobile device not purchased by the University.
Mobile Device Account
The provision and record of services and usage for a specific mobile device. The lifecycle of the account starts with the purchase of the device and ends when all services are cancelled, the device is returned and final cost commitments are met.
Mobile Device Holder
The person who is the primary user of the mobile device.
Mobile Device Sponsor
The person who is responsible for the budget for the purchasing and/or operating costs of the mobile device.
Approved Supplier
A service provider/vendor with whom the University has a formal  negotiated supply agreement.  University approved supplier information  can be found on the Financial Services Division website:
Approved Mobile Service Supplier
The approved supplier for mobile device services (e.g. voice SMS/txt messaging and data).
University Mobile Plan
The mobile device service and usage option(s) selected by the University and provided by the approved mobile service supplier.


1. Eligibility

Staff may be issued a mobile device if their University responsibilities require:

  1. that they use a mobile device in their day to day activities
  2. they must be reachable immediately
  3. they are on call outside of normal business hours
  4. they are often not based at a fixed work place and need to be easily contactable
  5. they make frequent and/or prolonged travel outside of their home campus.

2. Purchase of a University mobile device

  1. Authority to approve the provision of a mobile device to a staff member rests with the relevant member of the Senior Leadership Team ( SLT ).
  2. University mobile phones, SIM cards and mobile data sticks must be purchased through AskOtago.
  3. University mobile devices must be purchased from an approved supplier.
  4. The Mobile Device to be purchased should be the most cost-effective model that will enable the user to efficiently carry out their work-related tasks.
  5. Information Technology Services ( ITS ) will publish a list of Acceptable Mobile Devices and will review the list on a regular basis. All exceptions must be approved by the relevant member of the Senior Leadership Team ( SLT ).

3. Usage and security

  1. University mobile devices must use the University mobile plan. Exceptions to this must be approved by the Chief Digital Officer.
  2. External mobile devices may be able to use the University mobile plan with the approval of the Chief Digital Officer on the condition that the University may install software and configure the external mobile device for the purposes of security, recovery of devices and compliance with licensing obligations.
  3. Mobile phone numbers shall be published in University directories unless there are specific security/privacy reasons why they should not be. The Chief Digital Officer will approve exceptions.
  4. Mobile device holders must always operate mobile devices safely and legally.
  5. Mobile device holders must take all practical steps to avoid loss or damage to their mobile device(s).
  6. The mobile device holder is responsible for the security of the University data stored on the mobile device.
  7. Mobile devices must be locked when not in use by using a PIN, password, biometrics or other such security functionality.
  8. Usage of all mobile devices on the University mobile plan will be monitored.
  9. All mobile devices on the University mobile plan must be configured to connect to the University's WiFi network.
  10. The University may install software and configure its mobile devices for the purposes of security, recovery of devices and compliance with licensing obligations.
  11. University mobile device holders must report, as soon as possible, the loss/theft of a mobile device. When this is:
    1. within normal business hours, report the loss/theft to AskOtago.
    2. outside of normal business hours, report the loss/theft directly to the approved mobile service provider in order to block voice, SMS and/or data usage on the mobile device account.
  12. Any university data stored on a mobile device remains the property of the University of Otago and may be subject to internal investigation or disclosure by the University under freedom of information legislation (the Official Information Act and the Privacy Act), or in the course of the discovery process if there is litigation in progress. Those using the mobile device should therefore be aware that there are situations where the University may be legally required to disclose information within its power or control, and that it cannot guarantee the complete protection of personal information stored on University devices.

4. Costs

  1. The mobile device holder is responsible for all costs incurred on their mobile device.
  2. Costs arising from the personal use of chargeable services which are not included in the University's mobile plan such as 0900, audioconferencing, PXT, competition TXT etc shall be reimbursed by the mobile device holder.
  3. Costs arising from excessive personal data usage shall be reimbursed by the mobile device holder.
  4. The University may initiate action to recover any personal-use costs from the mobile device holder.

5. Return, transfer or disposal

  1. On cessation of employment with the University, a mobile device holder must return all University mobile device(s), complete with SIM card and additional accessories to their supervisor/manager. The mobile device sponsor must notify AskOtago in order for the appropriate action to be taken in regard to the University mobile account associated with the device(s).
  2. University mobile devices and telephone numbers remain the property of the University. Exceptions to this must be approved by the Chief Digital Officer.
  3. If a mobile device on the University mobile plan transfers to another mobile device holder or cost centre within the University, AskOtago must be advised of the new details.
  4. All data on a mobile device must be securely erased before the device is transferred to another staff member.
  5. Old or unwanted University mobile devices must be returned to Information Technology Services for disposal.
  6. When the relationship with the University ceases, all university data must be securely removed from external mobile devices.

6. Non-compliance

  1. The device holder may face disciplinary action and/or their eligibility for a mobile device may be revoked.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

The Chief Digital Officer

Back to top