BASIS Steering committee
Gerry Bomotti, Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, David
Holmes, David Martinson, Susan Unger, and Bob Zimmerman
W. David Wimberly
Colleen Briney and William Rains
BASIS II project file and discussion list
BASIS II June status
June was a busy month with lots of meetings.
These resulted in the resolution of
at least two of our "Major issues".
The meetings are now
shifting away from walk-throughs toward more detailed
discussions of issues and requirements with the core project team. The
June meetings included:
This was a walk-through of the Printing Services
operation, both current procedures and a review of activities that are
in progress for implementing new systems and procedures. It was
obvious that this is a high volume, complex operation, one that they
are taking steps to streamline so that it can be as efficient as
possible. We hope that our new system will not create any conflicts
with the progress currently being made here.
This was a continuation of discussions regarding the vendor
data requirements. Comments on the documentation presented in
April and other outstanding vendor issues were addressed.
This walk-through was conducted with the Student Health
Center. It was obvious that this is a well run and well
organized business. Although they are a very specialized operation,
their needs are not that different from most other departments - more
timely financial data summarized by budgetary categories appropriate to
6/10, 17, 24 & 26
These meetings were continuing discussions related to a list of
Purchasing questions initially developed in early May. The
meetings and responses provided were very beneficial in establishing an
understanding of the front end processing requirements of the system.
They were a pre-requisite to defining the data requirements for
requisitions, purchase orders, contracts, IFBs and other "bid"
This was a Natural application demonstration that
Computing Services provided for interested core project team members.
It helped to show basic functional aspects of the operational
environment that will be used for the new system. This is expected to
aid in communication between the team members and increase their
understanding of how specific features will be implemented.
This was a meeting of the Financial Affairs Advisory
Group. The discussion addressed available funds checking, use of
estimated revenue in auxiliaries, and the need for an available funds
check tolerance per cost center.
This meeting was used to review topics relevant to Cooperative
Extension in preparation for their visit the following week.
Additionally, resolution was reached on several issues involving the
assignment and review of expenditure codes.
This meeting was held with Cooperative Extension Service
personnel and addressed the outstanding issues that had been raised
during our visit to Little Rock in April.
During June, resolution was reached on the following items which had
previously been identified as "Major issues".
- The policy of charging non-budgeted and non-UAF entities for their
usage of Computing Services' resources had been identified as a major
Some doubt had also been raised regarding the continuance of
this policy for the BASIS systems. For this reason, this topic was
brought to the BASIS Steering Committee for discussion where the
following points were made:
- This is a university policy which exists at the discretion of the
university administration and as such should be supported. The reason
for the policy is the need for these entities to pay their own
way, costs associated with computing to perform business
functions are normal operating expenses.
- The extent of the costs that may be associated with the use of the
BASIS systems is currently not known and cannot be reasonably
determined. If it is later found that these costs are
significant, it may be necessary to revisit this topic to ensure the
success of the BASIS systems.
This issue is now considered settled by the project team.
voice disagreement will be invited to take their arguments to their
- The need for the Cooperative Extension Service central office and
the Agricultural Experiment Station director's office to change the
company cost center previously assigned to a requisition has been
recognized and a special facility to perform this function will be
provided within the system. This will necessitate that the routing
for approval of the requisition be re-initiated using the approval
chain associated with the new distribution.
Several other issues that had been nagging the project team were
also resolved during June.
- A means for assigning the account number (state expenditure code)
to purchase items was worked out by attacking the problem from several
angles. In most cases, this value will be determined by the system
based upon the class-item code assigned by purchasing. Some
assignments will be flagged and require review by Financial Affairs,
this should take place after the PO is generated but before any invoice
activity. In other situations, the account number will continue to be
assigned by Travel, Property Accounting, or Research Accounting.
- Agreement was reached on how to determine the budget category for
performing funds checking at the time of requisition entry. This turns
out to be an issue primarily for research funds, in which case the
originator of the request will be required to specify the budget
category. This assignment will then be reviewed by Research Accounting.
- Purchases that involve installment payments that span fiscal
years were also an impediment to funds checking. The agreed procedures
for handling these situations
will be outside the automated system since only a few
of them occur each year.
Internal work continued on several system documentation components.
None of these were released for review during June. Initial work was
started on the data requirements for Requisitions.
On the technical side, the following progress was made in June.
- A third method of performing program generation has been
discovered. This one uses the Natural ISPF Edit Macro
facility. Only preliminary testing has been completed, but we will
need to go ahead and chose between this technique or the method
identified in last month's report.
- Model programs were refined and completed for three forms of
list functions. These models will make it simple to develop
efficient online inquiry functions for browsing data.
- The NSM version 2 enhancements and the new program models are being
tested by converting the NSM Maintenance System. The "User" and
the "Application" maintenance functions were converted during June.
For this report, no new items were added to this list and two were
- There is a need to replace or interface with various inventory
systems. The areas that have a
possible interest in such a facility include: Scientific Supplies,
Dining Services, Physical Plant and Cooperative Extension Service.
- Inter-departmental orders pose unique problems and will require
changes to the way much business is transacted across campus.
- The problem with dating our expense transactions is still
outstanding and possible solutions need to be presented and discussed
with the accountants.
- A method of identifying and reporting federal expenditures by the
period of the obligation (versus the period of the expense) received
discussion during the Cooperative Extension Service meeting.
Two alternatives were mentioned, but each requires further analysis and
- The need for word processing like capabilities for requisition and
purchase order descriptions persist. Cornell University has not come
through with the editor they had mentioned and, upon further
consideration, we are not sure it (or UT Austin's) would adequately
meet our needs. We have initiated some work to develop our own.
- The viability of departmental receiving is still in question.
- The requirements of the system remain chock full of exceptions and
special handling requirements.
We hope we can document all of them and develop a system that takes
them into consideration.
The following are our plans for July:
- Define and document the data requirements for requisitions,
"bid" type entities, "contract" type entities, and purchase
- Distribute for comment some of the internal documention that has
been developed: updated vendor data requirements, vendor processing
features, glossary of terms, and maybe an initial requisition file.
- Discuss and develop a firm approach for addressing the processing
needs for internal orders and travel authorizations.
- Initiate development of programs to process vendor related data
- Complete the conversion of the NSM Maintenance System, update the
NSM documentation for version 2, develop program generation facilities
for the models that have been developed, develop a basic TARGET
function module model program, and update the TARGET functional
- Meet with departmental representatives, preferably the
"bookkeepers", regarding some of the basic concepts we plan to
incorporate into our system and solicit their opinions and feedback.
- Continue to work on our system overview (high level
requirements document), developing it to the point that it can be
shared in a preliminary form.
Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this