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IM OA 2014-06, Reimbursement of Charges Related to Employees’ Government Use of Personal Devices

Issuance Date: April 25, 2014

Expiration Date: Retain Until Superseded


1.  Purpose.  This Instructional Memorandum (IM) provides guidance on reimbursing employees for use of personally owned devices to conduct official U.S. Government business. 

2.  Scope.  This IM applies to all U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees, contractors, and volunteers.

3.  Definition.

A.  Personal Device:  Any smart phone, cell phone, home phone, tablet, laptop, internet service, or other device owned by a USGS employee, contractor, or volunteer and used to access Government information or conduct Government business.

4.  References.  

A.  Section 5536 of Title 5 of the United States Code.

B.  Survey Manual Chapter 335.4 - Employee Claims for Reimbursement of Official Business Expenditures. 

C.  GAO Decision B-287524 (2001).

D.  DOI Telework Handbook (370 DM 226), August 2012, Section 10.2.3.

5.  Policy.

A.  As it relates to the use of personally owned equipment to conduct official Government business, it is USGS policy that:

(1)  USGS will reimburse employees for the actual costs of long-distance phone calls.

(2)  Reimbursement for use of any personally owned equipment shall not be made on a flat-fee basis.

(3)  Employees requesting reimbursement must submit copies of invoices from their service provider.  Reimbursement is limited to the actual costs incurred while conducting official duties and the employee must attest to that fact. 

(4)  A Standard Form (SF) 1164, Claim for Reimbursement for Expenditures on Official Business, must be submitted.  Additionally, a copy of the invoice or bill must accompany the SF-1164, regardless of the amount claimed for reimbursement. 

B.  Once paid, employees should be aware that the bill will become public record and remain in the paying office for the period determined by the records retention schedule.

/s/ Katie McCulloch for                                                                                          April 25, 2014 
Karen D. Baker                                                                                                       Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and Human Capital