Other:Authorized Computer Repairs

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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aebrown
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Other:Authorized Computer Repairs

Postby aebrown » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:17 am

In Stake MLS I was recently reviewing the subcategories of Other. For stakes, there are special subcategories of Other for Stake Reimbursable Expenses; among these is a built-in category called Other:Authorized Computer Repairs. I discovered that that category has been deactivated.

I have used this category a couple of times in the past to pay for computer parts such as a hard drive for a ward administrative computer, after consulting with the FM group and verifying that it was prudent to repair rather than replace the computer.

But one of the changes in the 18 Aug 2009 Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping is that "After the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, computer repairs become the responsibility of the FM group."

So the deactivation of this category is in keeping with the updated policy. The category is still in place so that you can run reports on past expenses in that category. I assume that eventually, when no more transactions for that category exist in the retention period, the category will quietly disappear.

I just thought it was interesting that the Church departments coordinated this detail so that the subcategory was deactivated once it became obsolete because of the change in the computer policy.

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aebrown
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Other:FHC Computer Repairs

Postby aebrown » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:04 am

As I was researching documentation for my previous post, I came across a statement in the 1 Nov 2008 Policy and Guidelines for Computers in Family History Centers, which I don't think was entirely correct at the time, and certainly is not now.

On pages 2-3, under Paying for Hardware Repairs, it says:

The cost for repairs to hardware not covered under warranty may be reimbursable if the hardware meets minimum donation standards.

Prior to the repair or purchase of replacement parts, the stake technology specialist must contact the FamilySearch Support Office to obtain authorization.

The stake technology specialist is then authorized to make arrangements for the hardware repair and if necessary to purchase the replacement parts. The repair expenses are coded in the stake MLS to “Other: Authorized Computer Repairs” (emphasis added).
There are two separate special stake reimbursable subcategories of Other in the area of computer repair:

  1. "Other:Authorized Computer Repairs", which I had understood was specifically for administrative (not FHC) computers, and which is not available now anyway;
  2. "Other:FHC Computer Repairs", which I had understood was always the category to be used for repairs of FHC computers.
But the FHC policy explicitly mentions the first category, not the second. I guess I hadn't read the FHC policy closely enough to notice that earlier. But in any case, it is now impossible to use the first category, so when those situations arise, we will need to use "Other:FHC Computer Repairs."

EDDIEDOW
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Postby EDDIEDOW » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:42 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:But one of the changes in the 18 Aug 2009 Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping is that "After the manufacturer’s warranty has expired, computer repairs become the responsibility of the FM group.


Interesting. I was advised by a ward clerk a couple of weeks ago that their admin. computer needed repair. I contacted the FM and he said they no longer do that, that it's the unit or stake's responsibility to repair after warranty expires. What really is the current policy? Is my FM shining me on in a less than celestial manner?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:53 pm

E&LDow wrote:Interesting. I was advised by a ward clerk a couple of weeks ago that their admin. computer needed repair. I contacted the FM and he said they no longer do that, that it's the unit or stake's responsibility to repair after warranty expires. What really is the current policy? Is my FM shining me on in a less than celestial manner?


The current policy that I linked to was published less than 5 months ago. I would think it is unlikely that the FM group "no longer does that", but rather much more likely that they are simply not aware of the new policy. FM groups get their information through a different line of communication than do the local units, so that's not particularly surprising.

I'd certainly recommend that you be patient with them. Give them a copy of the current policy document which specifically mentions that the FM group will do repairs, and kindly request that they check with their superiors for confirmation.


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