Webcast Communicator vs PC and software

Using the Church Webcasting System, YouTube, etc. Including cameras and mixers.
Gary_Miller
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#21

Post by Gary_Miller »

Mikerowaved wrote:Finally [whew], the 3rd item in the List of Webcast products and components that the Stake or Area President has responsibility to "Provide approval and budget for purchase of", is (yes) a computer. If purchased, it is clearly not listed as an item the FM group would be responsible for, but rather the stake or area would purchase it using their budgets though a "local vendor, or online".
While the components list show that a computer can be used to do webcasting, and while the Stake and Area President has the responsibility for approval and budgeting for wecasting. There is still the guidance in the Handbook of instructions that states computers are paid for out of General church funds, not LUBA funds.

The question that needs to be asked and answered is not:

Can we use the LUBA to purchase a computer for webcasting? That question has already been decided in Handbook #1.

The question that needs to be asked is:

1. We have a need to for webcasting in our stake, how do we do it while staying within the guidelines of purchasing computers as addressed in the Handbooks?

1. Purchase a WebCasitng communicator.
2. Use existing computers already assigned to the stake.
3. Use General Church funds and purchase a computer.

Item 1: While item one falls within the guidelines of the LUBA it is very costly and may not be the best use of sacred funds.

Item 2: While item two is the cheapest route there are some restrictions that limit what can be done:

1) Family history center computers are not an option Policy and Guidelines for Computers in Family History Centers

2) Clerks record keeping computers are an option as long as the MLS data base is stored on external media and locked in a secured place while the computer is being used outside of the clerks office. Policy and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping

Item 3: While Item 3 is possible and probably the best answer, its not clear what general funds are to be used to purchase a computer for webcasting. That question needs to be asked and answered.
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aebrown
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#22

Post by aebrown »

Gary_Miller wrote:The question that needs to be asked and answered is not:

Can we use the LUBA to purchase a computer for webcasting? That question has already been decided in Handbook #1.

We're all well aware of your interpretation of that Handbook section. And I certainly understand that you cannot imagine any other interpretation of that section. But the fact remains that you are drawing your own conclusion from the words that are there. I will grant that your interpretation is a reasonable one. But I will also grant (even if you are unable to do so) that other interpretations are possible. Mikerowaved just gave a very well reasoned and sourced explanation of another way to look at this issue.

So I would recommend that you use phrases like "My understanding is...", or "The way I read the Handbook..."; that will help cool down the temperature of this discussion. The topic is important, and we certainly appreciate the insights so many people have brought to the discussion.
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#23

Post by russellhltn »

Gary_Miller wrote:Clerks record keeping computers are an option as long as the MLS data base is stored on external media and locked in a secured place while the computer is being used outside of the clerks office. Policy and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping

That verbiage only directly applies to computers used in a FHC - a situation where minimally vetted persons (even non-members) have the ability to physically access and use the computer with minimal supervision. There is other verbiage that says "can work with and print this confidential information in private." But as long as you don't open MLS while outside of a clerk's office, I don't see a conflict.

If you want to go to that additional effort, that's fine, but I see nothing that requires others to do so.
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Gary_Miller
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#24

Post by Gary_Miller »

aebrown wrote:We're all well aware of your interpretation of that Handbook section. And I certainly understand that you cannot imagine any other interpretation of that section.
Base on the spirit, principle, provided training, and guidance provided from the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, there is not other way to interpret that expenses for computers are not included in LUBA.

I know allot of STSs and local unit leaders would like to interpret it differently because its the easiest way to go and they don't have to jump through the hoops required in order to use the correct funds. You can twist it around however you like to fit your situation. However that does not take away from the FACT the wording is there and there is no other reasonably way to properly interpret the guidance. It also does not take away from the fact that the Prophet has stated that most errors made in policies, procedures, and programs of the church "could be avoided if such leaders were familiar with the handbook and followed the policies and procedures outlined therein." [img]2010%20Worldwide%20leadership%20training,%20Opening%20Remarks[/img]
Gary_Miller
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#25

Post by Gary_Miller »

RussellHltn wrote:That verbiage only directly applies to computers used in a FHC - a situation where minimally vetted persons (even non-members) have the ability to physically access and use the computer with minimal supervision. There is other verbiage that says "can work with and print this confidential information in private." But as long as you don't open MLS while outside of a clerk's office, I don't see a conflict.

If you want to go to that additional effort, that's fine, but I see nothing that requires others to do so.
Issue solved, all that needs to be done to use one of the clerks computers, so there is no justifiable reason to purchase a computer solely for webcasting.
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#26

Post by lajackson »

Gary_Miller wrote:Issue solved, all that needs to be done to use one of the clerks computers, so there is no justifiable reason to purchase a computer solely for webcasting.
Yes, except that none of our old clerks computers are capable of being modified to support originating a webcast. Most, but not all, can marginally receive and stream one.
Gary_Miller wrote:Base on the spirit, principle, provided training, and guidance provided from the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, there is not other way to interpret that expenses for computers are not included in LUBA.

I know allot of STSs and local unit leaders would like to interpret it differently because its the easiest way to go and they don't have to jump through the hoops required in order to use the correct funds.
There are no hoops to jump through to get correct funds (unless you know something that I do not), hence in every situation of which I am aware, priesthood leaders are gaining permission from their appropriate priesthood leaders for exceptions to policy.

As a matter of interest, the First Presidency grants exceptions to the Handbook on a regular basis, and has been for years. It is their handbook. They make the rules and can change the rules. I share this to benefit this discussion, and not as a topic for future discussion, because it is off topic. But knowing this particular bit of information does help in understanding the discussion and helping readers to see how certain things can be done when proper permission is received, even if they do not seem to others to conform to the current Handbook. These are not general exceptions. Just because I may have one does not mean anyone else has one. Each must seek and receive on their own in cases such as this.
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#27

Post by rmajors »

This is reaching the spirit of contention. Let's take a breadth and let the funding be handled by the Stake President and other appropriate authority, with direction from the HandBook and associated guidelines, and let us do what are asked todo; provide the best support that we can for the members of our stakes and units in support of WebCasting, Video Conferencing, and other Technology solutions, within the bounds established by the church leaders.
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johnshaw
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#28

Post by johnshaw »

lajackson wrote:There are no hoops to jump through to get correct funds (unless you know something that I do not)
I would actually agree that there are hoops to jump through. Each and every stake is competing for funds from the FMG. There are various ways those funds are distributed, including, Do I like PFR's style for that stake, do I like the Stake President's style for that stake, Do I, as the FM for this FMG have my own personal priorities of how I want to spend funds. The song and dance that a SP must do, at times, is worthy of a hoop. When a FM says that it is the stake's responsibility to purchase a projector for the meetinghouse, and the STAKE MUST PROVE THEM WRONG, that is a hoop. When the STAKE must VALIDATE nearly everything that comes from FMG that is a hoop. When FMG does not budget to replace clerk computers or meetinghouse copiers as per written and communicated policy, to be rebuffed by a 'we do something different than that' it is a hoop.

I realize I'm speaking of FMG as if it was a single entity, I'm perfectly aware that there are many different experiences out there, some I've see on this board, actually brings me to tears to see how well the FMG does for these other stakes. I am green with envy for many of you out there.

But I do agree a bit with the near-contention-identifier... The SP, working with FMG, and his own authorities will be able to make the correct decisions.

Gary, I love your underlying tenacity about budgeting. For a SP to very off-the-cuff approve items that they have taken no steps to have provided by the appropriate means, I think is just a short-cut of the easy thing, but the losers are the moms and dads who are asked to contribute more money to fund camps, equipment, etc... (and Yes, a fundraiser, is just asking parents to contribute more money). If we veer from established guidelines, IMHO, we better have thought it out in our minds, counseled in our councils, and feel really darn good about it. I tend to think there are larger items to target for waste out there in stakes, wards, and branches, than equipment for a webcast.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
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Gary_Miller
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#29

Post by Gary_Miller »

lajackson wrote:There are no hoops to jump through to get correct funds (unless you know something that I do not), hence in every situation of which I am aware, priesthood leaders are gaining permission from their appropriate priesthood leaders for exceptions to policy.
There are many hoops to jump through in order to purchase computers with the correct funds. Take the paragraph in the handbook we have been discussion. It states computer expenses are paid from general church funds using current guidelines. Do you know what general fund pays for webcasting computers? Does your Stake president know? Does your Area Authority know? If the answer is "Yes" then the next question is, how does one go about getting their hands on the funds? If the answer is "No" then the nest question is, who does one contact to find out what funds to use and how does one go about getting their hands on the funds? These are all "hoops" and from the discussion we have been having I would say no one on this form knows the correct answer, and that's the biggest hoop of all.
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#30

Post by Gary_Miller »

JohnShaw wrote:I tend to think there are larger items to target for waste out there in stakes, wards, and branches, than equipment for a webcast.
Your right and as a finance clerk I see it all the time, usually its small and could have been avoided had those involved had done a better job at planning. However in the end it all adds up and puts a strain on the budget. The problem with the webcasting is that its pulls a big chuck of funds that in "MY OPION" could be better used at the ward level in youth programs.
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