Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
aarongusa
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Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby aarongusa » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:21 pm

Hey All,

Our ward recently "upgraded" to multiple clerks and assistant clerks. We have one MLS computer in our clerks office but have room for multiple workstations. I'm wondering:

1. For a non-MLS computer for lds.org membership organization is there approval needed?

2. I could not find any policy against a non-MLS donated computer, is there one?

Essentially we're hoping to just have other workstations instead of having multiple clerks waiting to complete assignments and ultimately wasting time. With them being non-MLS machines and using lds.org only I just want to be sure we're not doing anything wrong.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks,

Aaron

eblood66
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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby eblood66 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:37 am

aarongusa wrote:Hey All,

Our ward recently "upgraded" to multiple clerks and assistant clerks. We have one MLS computer in our clerks office but have room for multiple workstations. I'm wondering:

1. For a non-MLS computer for lds.org membership organization is there approval needed?

2. I could not find any policy against a non-MLS donated computer, is there one?

Essentially we're hoping to just have other workstations instead of having multiple clerks waiting to complete assignments and ultimately wasting time. With them being non-MLS machines and using lds.org only I just want to be sure we're not doing anything wrong.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks,

Aaron

You'll want to review the new Meetinghouse Technology Policy, particularly section 4.1.3. Basically it prohibits using budget funds to purchase computers except for limited exceptions involving web-casting. You can ask your FM group if they would provide additional computers but I expect the answer will be no.

jdlessley
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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby jdlessley » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:00 am

aarongusa wrote:For a non-MLS computer for lds.org membership organization is there approval needed?

Each unit is authorized one computer. The references for computers is found in Handbook 2, 2.1.11 (also found in Handbook 1, 17.1.12). More recent guidance is found in the Meetinghouse Technology Policy found on the RKATS site. The computers for new construction "are paid for out of construction project funds." FM groups may provide and fund additional computers, computer screens, and printers, as directed by MFD (Meetinghouse Facilities Department). It is FM's responsibility to provide the initial computers for units not part of new construction.

aarongusa wrote:I could not find any policy against a non-MLS donated computer, is there one?

The Meetinghouse Technology Policy, 4.5.2, prohibits the installation of MLS on donated computers. If you may have been considering purchasing another computer then note that the Meetinghouse Technology Policy states in 4.1.3 that "Local unit budgets cannot be used to purchase computers (Handbook 1: Administering the Church, 14.7.2)." There is an exception for webcasting.

We are awaiting a response as to whether the Meetinghouse Technology Policy supersedes previous instructions found in older sources such as the 18 Aug,2009, Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping. That document prohibits the use of donated computers for administrative use.

aarongusa wrote:Essentially we're hoping to just have other workstations instead of having multiple clerks waiting to complete assignments and ultimately wasting time. With them being non-MLS machines and using lds.org only I just want to be sure we're not doing anything wrong.

Whether or not you can get approval for another computer to be provided by FM is uncertain. You can certainly ask. If you are fortunate enough to get another approved computer I doubt you will be able to get any headquarters approval to install MLS on more than one computer. MLS is programmed to function on one computer per unit. Installing MLS on another computer would be fruitless since the finance section is locked out except for the one authorized computer. All other data would need to be updated from a backup daily to be useful. Most of the information a second installation of MLS provides is available online in Leader and Clerk Resources.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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gregwanderson
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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby gregwanderson » Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:21 am

aarongusa wrote:Essentially we're hoping to just have other workstations instead of having multiple clerks waiting to complete assignments and ultimately wasting time. With them being non-MLS machines and using lds.org only I just want to be sure we're not doing anything wrong.

Perhaps a better use of church money would be to purchase USB thumb drives for the clerks who have to wait for the ward computer. If you're really talking about tasks that can be done on a non-MLS system then why can't the clerks do this stuff at home or with the tablets they're already bringing to church? I've brought my own laptop when I felt it could save my time. The church encourages people to use technology to save time and travel (like use email instead of having lots of presidency meetings), but they're presuming that people are using technology they already have and not that the church pays for your personal email account because you use it for church business too.

The real bottleneck appears to be MLS. You have someone wanting to update membership information while someone else wants to input home teaching data and, meanwhile, two other men need at least an hour uninterrupted to enter finance/donation data. Having another computer in the room will accomplish nothing to solve this problem since you can't have MLS on more than one computer.

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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby russellhltn » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:50 am

aarongusa wrote:I could not find any policy against a non-MLS donated computer, is there one?


I can't find a policy that would prohibit a donated computer in the clerk's office if it's not used to run MLS. However, any repairs or other things needed to maintain it could be a problem.

But I'm wondering if the on-line tools is sufficient to allow others to do what they need to do.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

RossEvans
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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby RossEvans » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:44 am

jdlessley wrote:We are awaiting a response as to whether the Meetinghouse Technology Policy supersedes previous instructions found in older sources such as the 18 Aug,2009, Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping

It seems pretty obvious to me that the 2009 document, which covers much of the same ground, is superseded by the current policy published on the RKATS website. And the only link we have to the old document is under the wiki, which is maintained less rigorously and which warns on its home page:

Note: Content found in this wiki may not always reflect official Church information.

eblood66
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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby eblood66 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:55 am

RossEvans wrote:
jdlessley wrote:We are awaiting a response as to whether the Meetinghouse Technology Policy supersedes previous instructions found in older sources such as the 18 Aug,2009, Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping


It seems pretty obvious to me that the 2009 document, which covers much of the same ground, is superseded by the current policy published on the RKATS website. And the only link we have to the old document is under the wiki, which is maintained less rigorously and which warns on its home page:

Note: Content found in this wiki may not always reflect official Church information.


Although it does feel that the new policy document covers most of the same ground and probably succeeds the previous document, the older document is still available in the Official Communications Library. So there does remain an official link to the document. But if it has not been superseded it would be nice if it were available on the RKATS site to help clarify that.

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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby russellhltn » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:41 pm

eblood66 wrote:It seems pretty obvious to me that the 2009 document, which covers much of the same ground, is superseded by the current policy published on the RKATS website.


That's not an illogical conclusion. But the introduction page of the 2009 document states that it replaces the 2005 document of the same name. I believe the letter that introduces a new handbook has instructions to destroy all old versions.

The 2014 document on RKTS lacks any such language. That leaves us to wonder if some policies stated in 2009 but not mentioned in 2014 are still in effect.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

eblood66
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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby eblood66 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:22 pm

russellhltn wrote:
RossEvans wrote:It seems pretty obvious to me that the 2009 document, which covers much of the same ground, is superseded by the current policy published on the RKATS website.


That's not an illogical conclusion. But the introduction page of the 2009 document states that it replaces the 2005 document of the same name. I believe the letter that introduces a new handbook has instructions to destroy all old versions.

The 2014 document on RKTS lacks any such language. That leaves us to wonder if some policies stated in 2009 but not mentioned in 2014 are still in effect.

Note that although I tend to think the RossEvan may be right, russelhtln mistakenly attributed the quote above to me. It should be attributed to RossEvans.

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Re: Procedure for non-mls computers in clerks office

Postby RossEvans » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:52 pm

Interesting and confusing.

As a practical matter, since there apparently has been no letter through the usual channels notifying priesthood leaders at various levels that there is a new policy, it seems to be known only to interested readers of this forum and those who might happen to browse RKATS. And there seems to have been an internal church email when the policy was rolled out online two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the new document states that a key role of the stake president is that he "understands and enforces" the policy. But without the letter or other notification, he may not even know that the new policy exists.


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