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MLS 2.9 Out of Unit Administrator bug

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:12 pm
by davelowe
In MLS 2.9 you can consume one of the 2 Out of Unit Administrator slots and you can't get it back. If you remove an Out of Unit Administrator who is attached to a financial transaction, the person is not removed and they maintain the Out of Unit Administrator status. You can't recover them and switch them to a unit administrator because they are not in the unit and MLS 2.9 won't let you make the change.

Maybe you can make them an out of unit member, which them to a unit administrator, and then delete the out of unit member record. Has anyone tried this?

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:36 pm
by crislapi
davelowe wrote:Maybe you can make them an out of unit member, which them to a unit administrator, and then delete the out of unit member record. Has anyone tried this?


I had a couple wards incorrectly set up their bishopric members as out of unit administrators (student ward). We had no problem switching them back. We had to create out of unit records for them and then link their MLS account to the new record. With this done, we were able to make them "members of unit".

I did not try to delete any of them. I just needed to switch them. This worked fine.

I just tried to duplicate your error on the test ward in MLS 2.9. I created 2 out of unit administrator accounts. I tried to add a third and it wouldn't let me. I restarted MLS and again tried to add a third. It wouldn't let me so I deleted both of the accounts. No problems with it. Sorry!

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:55 pm
by jdlessley
davelowe wrote:In MLS 2.9 you can consume one of the 2 Out of Unit Administrator slots and you can't get it back. If you remove an Out of Unit Administrator who is attached to a financial transaction, the person is not removed and they maintain the Out of Unit Administrator status. You can't recover them and switch them to a unit administrator because they are not in the unit and MLS 2.9 won't let you make the change.

Maybe you can make them an out of unit member, which them to a unit administrator, and then delete the out of unit member record. Has anyone tried this?
Once a financial transaction is made from a user account it cannot be removed. It will remain in the system until the required period to maintain financial records has elapsed. It does not matter how you try to remove them. You could try doing as crislapi has done and change their user status to recover your lost Out of Unit Administrator user account.

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:36 am
by crislapi
davelowe wrote:In MLS 2.9 you can consume one of the 2 Out of Unit Administrator slots and you can't get it back. If you remove an Out of Unit Administrator who is attached to a financial transaction, the person is not removed and they maintain the Out of Unit Administrator status. You can't recover them and switch them to a unit administrator because they are not in the unit and MLS 2.9 won't let you make the change.

Maybe you can make them an out of unit member, switch them to a unit administrator, and then delete the out of unit member record. Has anyone tried this?


I read too quickly the first time. Having reread your post, I was able to duplicate the issue. As you mention and as jdlessley pointed out, once a user is attached to a financial transaction, their account can only be inactivated.

jdlessley wrote:Once a financial transaction is made from a user account it cannot be removed. It will remain in the system until the required period to maintain financial records has elapsed. It does not matter how you try to remove them. You could try doing as crislapi has done and change their user status to recover your lost Out of Unit Administrator user account.


This time I created an expense using my out of unit administrator. I then removed him and received the same warning we've all seen: account is inactive, but can't be deleted because it's affiliated with financial records. I couldn't switch it to member of unit because there is no associated member record. So I created an out of unit record named Clerk, Stake will just the required info. The one snag I ran into is that it requires a valid (or valid format, at least) member number. Unless HQ is willing to supply a dummy membership record number for this, I'd see if you can't track down the member record number of the out of unit administrator. Once this was created, I was able to associate this record to the user account, switching it to member of unit. I had already deleted it, so now that it was switched, I was able to add a new second out of unit administrator.

As a side note, to affiliate a member record with a user account you must have a membership number in the record.

The obvious catch is that if your out of unit adminstrators are often involved in financial transactions in your ward and they a replaced often, you're going to end up with a lot of out of unit records in your records.They will show up on your directories and rolls and home teaching lists.

* Disclaimer - in case you didn't see it above, I did all this in the test_ward and not my actual ward MLS.

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:26 am
by aebrown
crislapi wrote:The obvious catch is that if your out of unit adminstrators are often involved in financial transactions in your ward and they a replaced often, you're going to end up with a lot of out of unit records in your records.They will show up on your directories and rolls and home teaching lists.


Once you've done all this rigamarole, you can delete your temporary out-of-unit member and so they will no longer show up on directories and lists in MLS. Also, if you want some valid membership numbers, the first few valid ones are 19, 27, 35, 43, 51, 6A, 78, 86, 94 (all preceded by 9 zeroes, of course).

But back to the original question, although this appears to be a bug, why is an out of unit administrator involved in financial transactions anyway? The out of unit administrator is a stake person assigned to give support, not a member of the ward with authority to make changes to the data. Although I can see how it might be tempting as a stake person to swoop in and fix categories on checks or other such changes, I think it would be a better practice to make sure that the actual ward clerks or bishopric counselors make the changes. If the out of unit administrator doesn't make changes, the problem doesn't occur.

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:50 am
by mkmurray
Alan_Brown wrote:But back to the original question, although this appears to be a bug, why is an out of unit administrator involved in financial transactions anyway? The out of unit administrator is a stake person assigned to give support, not a member of the ward with authority to make changes to the data. Although I can see how it might be tempting as a stake person to swoop in and fix categories on checks or other such changes, I think it would be a better practice to make sure that the actual ward clerks or bishopric counselors make the changes. If the out of unit administrator doesn't make changes, the problem doesn't occur.

So every MLS install gets 2 Out of Unit Administrators, which Church HQ intended to be for Stake Clerks and/or Stake Technology Specialists (and is the standard practice among most wards). Then there are "In Unit" Administrators who are actually members of the ward; I can see how this would vary quite a bit from unit to unit, depending on circumstances and the actual technical abilities of each individual serving in the various bishopric positions. For example, in our ward, we have 2 "In Unit" Administrators: the Bishop and Ward Clerk.

So with all that said, here's my question about this scenario: How does it work in a Student ward, where much of the Bishopric are "Out of Unit Members." You don't want to use up your "Out of Unit Administrators" because those seem to be reserved for the Stake to be able to help give support to local units. So how does an "Out of Unit" Bishop be an "In Unit" Administrator without using up an "Out of Unit Administrator" position? Or do they just let the Ward Clerks and/or Executive Secretaries have that access instead, since often they are called from within the ward membership?

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 7:34 am
by aebrown
mkmurray wrote:So with all that said, here's my question about this scenario: How does it work in a Student ward, where much of the Bishopric are "Out of Unit Members." You don't want to use up your "Out of Unit Administrators" because those seem to be reserved for the Stake to be able to help give support to local units. So how does an "Out of Unit" Bishop be an "In Unit" Administrator without using up an "Out of Unit Administrator" position? Or do they just let the Ward Clerks and/or Executive Secretaries have that access instead, since often they are called from within the ward membership?


Out of Unit Members can be In Unit Administrators. I explained this in this post, which incidentally became the basis for an MLS message that was sent to all clerks.

So as long as a member has a record number and is in the list of members of the unit, whether that person is an out of unit member or a regular member, they can be a member ("in unit") administrator. You don't have to use up either of you Out of Unit Administrator slots for such people. You only use your Out of Unit Administrator slots for people who are stake personnel that are not in your unit and so you don't have a record number for.

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:39 am
by davelowe
Is it true the MRN generated for Out of Unit Members that includes the unit number, is not considered a valid member number for the purposes of becoming an in unit administrator?

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:02 am
by aebrown
davelowe wrote:Is it true the MRN generated for Out of Unit Members that includes the unit number, is not considered a valid member number for the purposes of becoming an in unit administrator?


You must supply a valid MRN for Out of Unit Members if they are to be an in unit administrator. Members without a valid MRN will not be listed in the selection list for members to be associated with an MLS user.

So the answer, of course, is to actually supply the correct MRN for such people so that they can be member ("in unit") users, and you do not waste your 2 out of unit administrator slots.