MEMORANDUM


Table of Contents

MEMORANDUM
  • BASIS I
  • BASIS II
  • Common

  • MEMORANDUM

    To:

    BASIS Steering committee
    Gene Buckley, Dick Cottrill, Tom Dorre, David Whitmire, David Martinson, and Bob Zimmerman

    From:

    W. David Wimberly

    Copy:

    Bill Moody, Colleen Briney, Bill Overby and William Rains
    BASIS-L discussion lists

    Subject:

    BASIS August status

    The conversion to desk-based security for NSM applications has been completed; implementation occurred over the Labor Day week-end. Preparation for this consumed a great deal of time within August. Implementation within our test environment occurred August 16th, after which we made some minor adjustments and began preparing documentation and user notification material. I am certain that this will prove to be a wise investment resulting in improved security, a reduction in the time that would have been spent performing security administration for BASIS and TARGET, and the empowerment of departments allowing them to better manage personnel work assignments.

    Development work continued on the Leave Accounting and GJIM systems during August. This included the completion of reports, new list functions, the transaction extract for GJIM, and the last major function of GJIM, Funds Transfer. We also have the first GJIM TARGET function working and all the basic TARGET support facilities have been developed. Progress was hampered by the seven days CICSTEST was not available due to Registration and Drop/Add. We plan to wrap up all development for Leave Accounting and GJIM during September.

    The Computing Services team also spent a great deal of time demonstrating systems to, consulting with, and answering questions from Joe Fournier, the Financial Systems Training Coordinator. This is another wise investment of our time since Joe's knowledge and understanding of the system will be critical to a successful implementation. We look forward to continuing to work with Joe to help bring him up to speed and to receive his feedback on how the systems can be improved.

    Joe has assumed the leadership role in the coordination and preparation of plans and schedules for the implementation of the systems including acceptance testing, user documentation, user training, data gathering, and implementation and post implementation support. Joe has done an excellent job in this endeavor and his enthusiasm is refreshing. It is obvious that Joe is planning to assume a great deal more responsibility than that of "coordinator" as his title indicates. Even with Joe's assumption of responsibilities, I remain concerned that the central user offices do not have adequate resources to dedicate to BASIS. This project continues to be a last priority, receiving attention after all other problems have been addressed. This may be unavoidable, but the impact to the project must be recognized.

    BASIS I

    Progress

    1. Two reports have been developed for Human Resources: employees with leave without pay for a month and a summary of leave for a month by budgetary unit.

    2. The need for a new list function was identified to show summary leave data (vacation and sick leave only) for one employee by month. From this screen an entire year's activity can be reviewed and it is hoped that it will alleviate the need for a separate report (screen prints could be performed if necessary). The development of this routine is complete and it is now available for testing.

    3. All screen and menu formats were reviewed with Joe Fournier and standard field placement and tags were defined. These changes have been implemented along with other minor fixes. Messages and prompts will be reviewed at a later time.

    4. Development continued through August on the program to synchronize the data in the Leave Accounting system with the MSA Payroll. This is turning out to be a rather complex process, and several questions arose regarding how special conditions should be handled. These will be addressed so that development of this critical routine can be completed during September.

    5. A subprogram was developed to maintain the employee name indexes used to support the List Employee By Name function and the name search (alphabetic or phonetic).

    Tom Dorre reported that legal counsel has indicated that employee Social Security Numbers must be considered confidential information. While it is appropriate for a Leave Representative to have access to SSNs within his approved unit(s), it would not be appropriate for him to have access to the SSNs of other University employees. Therefore, the Leave Accounting system has been modified so that the name search facility is only available to individuals that have been granted unrestricted access (planned for the Human Resource Leave Administrator and possibly the auditors). Screens have also been modified so that when an SSN is entered outside an operator's authorized budgetary unit, the employee's name is not displayed. This issue will have more impact on subsequent BASIS modules, and may even affect our Purchasing/Payables system since some vendor Tax Identification Numbers are SSNs.

    Two additional reports were defined during August. One is to identify departments that have failed to enter leave for a month so that Human Resources can remind them to do so prior to the cutoff date (after which leave cannot be entered and an adjustment would be required the following month). The second is to identify individuals that have been granted job injury leave so that their balance can be closely monitored to ensure that they are not over-paid due to University and PECD (Public Employees Claim Division) payments.

    A question has arisen as to whether the Cooperative Extension Service will use the new Leave Accounting system. If they will not be using the system, modifications will be required to at least two programs to exclude those personnel. The omission of CES may also present other unanticipated questions or problems.

    Major issues

    The SSN confidentiality issue reported last month has now been addressed as indicated above. The planning for implementation issue has been addressed by Joe Fournier as indicated in my opening remarks. The item remaining regarding Family Leave is new to this list.

    1. The new federal Family Leave Bill has now gone into effect. We are currently unsure of the impact of this law on our Leave Accounting system since we are waiting on interpretations and rulings regarding this law from the State of Arkansas. We can only hope that any required modifications to the system will be minimal.

    Plans

    See the schedule provided at the end of this report.

    BASIS II

    Progress

    1. The Funds Transfer function was completed and released for user testing. Interestingly, the final version of this program uses an altogether different scheme for ensuring appropriate fringe benefits are, or are not, transferred. The problems with defining and programming these requirements were almost exclusively related to the provision for multiple "from" and "to" designations within the same transaction.

    2. The program to extract GJIM transactions and format them for processing into the fund explosion process and later into the General Ledger was completed. Test transactions have been processed through the fund explosion (BCJ0050) and a Batch Proof List has been produced. Further testing is planned when Financial Affairs personnel become available following completion of the University's financial report.

    3. A very basic but operational TARGET function for submitting and approving Account Changes has been developed. This routine will be cleaned up, closely reviewed, and then similar functions developed for the other four GJIM transaction types.

    4. A defaults option was added to the Journal Entry function (JE). Via a PF key, you may now designate a company cost center, account, and user code to be pre-assigned to the next 'n' lines of the transaction.

    5. The Inter-departmental Invoice function (II) was modified to require and validate a budget category (first two digits of the account number) whenever the charges are to or from a research company.

    6. Most all GJIM functions received some fixes and refinements. The following UPS functions were also regenerated to incorporate the latest features: ACTM, ADCM, ATTM, CACM, EVIM, LEVI, and VADD.

    The primary development tasks remaining for GJIM include clean-up of the AC TARGET function, creation of the other four TARGET functions, cloning of at least three TARGET list functions, writing and integrating a text management facility for attaching notes to GJIM transactions, and writing a program to accept Journal Entries in batch.

    Major issues

    The first item from last month's report will be addressed as indicated below. The planning for implementation issue reported last month has been addressed by Joe Fournier as indicated in my opening remarks.

    1. Although we still wish to develop a general purpose facility to provide word processing-like capabilities, and time to do this is still in short supply, I am removing this item from this list. In place of a more robust facility, we plan to develop and implement a very simple function for entering and maintaining text that will serve as justification for a GJIM transaction. Later, in version 2, we will plan to substitute a more full-featured facility that would be used for this purpose.

    Plans

    See the schedule provided at the end of this report.

    Common

    NSM/Desks

    Desk-based security is here! The test environment was converted to desk-based security on August 16th and the production environment on September 6th. This required changes to several NSM utilities, the development of new support routines, practically a re-write of the NSM Maintenance System, modification to the LOGON screen, modification of several field help routines, the development of a system wide command to change or display a user's current desk (CDCD), major file changes, and the execution of half a dozen conversion programs. In preparation for the implementation in production, the documentation for the NSM Maintenance System was updated, a memo was written to all application owners advising them of the changes they will see in the administration of security for their applications, and a memo was written to all directors and department heads who have employees with Natural IDs advising them of the changes and inviting them to perform their own desk management. Feedback provided to date has been very favorable toward these changes.

    Other changes were also made in conjunction with the desk-based security.

    TARGET

    All basic TARGET functions have now been developed, although some integration of the components is still required. Functions and features completed in August include:

    Program Generator

    Changes were made within our program generator to prevent a user from suspending to system wide commands. These are commands such as LOG and FIN which are independent of any specific application. Although it does not make sense to suspend to LOG or FIN, there are going to be many new system wide commands with the introduction of desk-based security and TARGET, and many of these functions cannot permit the user to return to an active function. The practical solution was to disable the suspend feature for these commands. This change affected all models.

    Plans

    See the attached schedule for detail information.

    Please feel free to raise any questions or concerns prompted by this report.