MLS User Access Levels

Discuss basic duties of stake and ward clerks, including where to begin.
dedgovel
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MLS User Access Levels

Postby dedgovel » Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:19 pm

The Stake Clerks and myself as the Stake Technology Specialist have been having a running battle with one of the Wards in relation to MLS Users Access Levels on their computer.

Currently every MLS user on their system has Admin Level access.
This has caused problems in that information and system settings have been changed which have required correction at Stake or Area Level.

We have advised them that only the Bishop, Ward Clerk and Stake Clerks should have Admin access with the remainder of the users only being allocated appropriate levels of access in relation to there callings.

Today the Stake Clerk went to the ward to do a send receive that was required due to the corrupted databases at the area office. When he went to log in as the Stake Clerk he found that the User account had been removed.

Later he found out that the Ward had deleted the Stake Admin account because they did not want the stake changing the access levels ward users.

I know in the MLS help manual it states on page 25 Admin - Bishop and Ward Clerk.

They say that the other users have be authorized by the Bishop to have admin access as well as saying unless stake can show an official church outline of who gets what access level they are not going to change anything.

The Questions is - Is there a official church list of who get what level of access for MLS? Or What people in the Stake/Ward get Admin access to MLS?

techgy
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Postby techgy » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:21 pm

dedgovel wrote:The Stake Clerks and myself as the Stake Technology Specialist have been having a running battle with one of the Wards in relation to MLS Users Access Levels on their computer.

Currently every MLS user on their system has Admin Level access.
This has caused problems in that information and system settings have been changed which have required correction at Stake or Area Level. .......

The Questions is - Is there a official church list of who get what level of access for MLS? Or What people in the Stake/Ward get Admin access to MLS?


I don't know of a list of who get's what access level, however, in regards to your STS calling I would refer you to duties of the STS. One of these responsibilities it to maintain and support the computers throughout the stake. This would require administrator access to the computers and software that's installed.
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:37 pm

dedgovel wrote:The Questions is - Is there a official church list of who get what level of access for MLS? Or What people in the Stake/Ward get Admin access to MLS?
I am not aware of an official Church list for access levels. There is information provided in MLS Help | Membership Policies | Security that provides guidance. It says:
1. System Administrator. The unit leader assigns an MLS system administrator for his unit. The system administrator maintains the list of MLS users and controls the security rights for those users. When MLS is installed at the ward level, the stake administrator should also be given a system administration account on the ward level. This will allow someone from the stake to assist the ward as necessary.
4. User rights. An MLS user should receive only those rights needed to perform his or her calling. For example, those who use MLS to enter donations (such as a unit leader, his counselors, and the finance clerk) should have "Financial rights. As members receive new callings or are released from callings, their access rights to MLS should be changed to reflect their current callings.
From this you will see that at a minimum there needs to be one system administrator at the stake level and one at the ward level. Most units find it necessary to have two administrators at each level as a backup. There are too many problems that can occur with everyone having administrator rights. People who are not supposed to have access to, and change, financial records as well as edit membership information can create some real difficulties for the ward. The situation you describe adds those who should not have certain access rights while eliminating those who should have admin rights.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:38 pm

dedgovel wrote:as well as saying unless stake can show an official church outline of who gets what access level they are not going to change anything.


I suspect the real problem is that you're just the clerks. You need to sit down and have a quiet conversation with the Stake President, get him on your side and ask him to have a little talk with the Ward. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but as long as the SP is on your side, I don't think that attitude will last long.
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atticusewig
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Export Access Flag Needed

Postby atticusewig » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:41 am

I suspect that the reason the ward is giving everyone Admin access is
so that they can then export membership data for home use.

I wish that either an Export Flag exisisted, or that the Organization
field would allow the exportation of HT/VT/Organization information.

In any event, removing the Stake Admin account is a definite no-no,
and I would check the logs to see who needs to have some one-on-one
time with the Stake President about supporting local leaders.

- Atticus Ewig

pete_arnett-p40
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Postby pete_arnett-p40 » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:02 am

RussellHltn wrote:I suspect the real problem is that you're just the clerks. You need to sit down and have a quiet conversation with the Stake President, get him on your side and ask him to have a little talk with the Ward. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but as long as the SP is on your side, I don't think that attitude will last long.

Russell - very well stated
because the export has a lot confidential information
another solution is to provide members with a customer report and then save the report to a file
:cool: Your Fellow Servant,
Porter (Pete) Lee Arnett Jr.
USA

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:22 pm

To me the core problem is 1) They removed the stake and 2) they are messing things up.

The issue of everyone having Admin rights and confidentiality of the export file could well be within the local unit's jurisdiction. The concerns are justifiable, but I'm not sure as they force the outcome. If the local leaders determine that use of the export files falls within "needed to perform his or her calling" then could well need Admin rights. I'd add the confidentiality issues to the quiet talk with the SP.
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ffrsqpilot
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Postby ffrsqpilot » Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:40 pm

I am quite surprised that confidentiality isn't addressed more adamantly here. In fact it should be the only thing being discussed here.

MLS, as well as church directives say that a member should only be given the IOS (Individual Ordinance Summary) rather than a copy of the full record. And here it appears an entire ward (who knows how many folks dedgovel is talking about) has access to highly confidential information that they have no business having. I cannot think of any good reason someone other than the ward clerk or the assistant ward clerk for membership as well as the Bishop or Branch President should have access to membership records. Anytime any record in MLS is called up, the screen flashes the message asking if this record is for use by the Bishop or the clerk. How could anyone (Bishops included) not understand that these records are highly confidential.

Just think of it this way - how about the kindly Relief Society Secretary (who we know would never gossip) who calls up a record of a sister who is disfellowshipped, or has other remarks on their membership record. Or how about that inquisitive Elders Quorum secretary who would like to see how much funds the young men and young women have in their budgets or see where they are spending. Or even worse, what if someone decides to add bogus expenditures, deposits, etc.... Wouldn't that be fun for the clerk to figure out. There is far too critical of information stored in MLS that just shouldn't be getting out, and hopefully it would never happen, but human nature being what it is, why would we even consider letting it be a temptation.

My advice is the stake clerk needs to have a serious sit down meeting with the stake president, explain the confidential nature of membership records as well as financial records (which he probably already understands) and then hopefully the stake president has a sit down meeting with the Bishop in question and explain why he cannot allow unlimited access via administrator access to church records.

And another point to add to the discussion - when completing the membership audit (which is to be done by June of each year via MLS) one of the questions asked is - are the proper use rights being enforced? If it wasn't an issue then why would the church have included that question in the audit.

I realize all that I have stated above is strictly my opinion, but as the stake clerk, if I knew one of our wards was allowing all users to have administrative rights I would do exactly as I suggested above and talk with my stake president after which I am certain he would be talking to the unit leader.

Jim

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Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:22 pm

To add to the excellent points Pilotfly brought up, from a finance side of things there is an abundance of highly sensitive information that should NOT be accessible to just anyone. For example, complete donation records for every individual, including their tithing declaration status with the bishop. Also, records of those receiving assistance from the ward through fast offering funds, just to name a couple. Remember, this is not just for the past week or month, but 3+ years of financial history can be obtained.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:42 pm

Pilotfly wrote:And here it appears an entire ward (who knows how many folks dedgovel is talking about) has access to highly confidential information that they have no business having.


Nit-pick: It's not the "entire ward", but the leadership who has MLS logins. While unlikely, for all we know it could be just the clerks.

Otherwise, I agree with your concerns completely. Thank you for spelling that out. But I stand by what I've stated - I don't know of anything in the policy manual that would prevent someone from interpreting it the way they want.

As tempting as it may be to bean someone on the head with a policy manual, I think we all agree the proper way to handle it is to talk to the Stake President. :)

Edit: Oh, and since the Relief Society President is charged with doing welfare needs assessments, I doubt if some of the information is unknown to her.
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