Approval FAQs
Q. When two people are in the approval flow and a requisition ends up in both inboxes and people want to “divide and conquer” approvals, how can you tell if the other person has already approved?
A. You can log in the application and the approval node will have changed color from blue to green, indicating that the other person has already approved.
Q. How are users removed from an approval flow?
A. Required approvers cannot be removed from the approval flow. If there is an emergency, such as when an Approver leaves DC suddenly, then the PASS System Administrator can resolve the situation via the Help Desk.
Q. Who can use the “add approver” button on the approval flow?
A. Any user can use the “Add Approver” functionality to add approvers or watchers.
Q. What do we do when an approver is on vacation or out of the office?
A. When an approver goes on vacation, he/she should delegate their approval authority to a user with their management level or above. It is very important to consider when delegating your authority to another individual that you are allowing someone to electronically sign legal documents on your behalf.
Q. What happens if someone forgets to delegate authority before leaving town? Can anyone else go into their system and delegate it the authority in their absence?
A. The PASS System Administrator can help out with the delegation once it has been communicated to the Help Desk.
Q. How will the approver know who the requisitioner is when approving or denying a requisition?  Is that part of the requisition somewhere?
A. The requisition contains the Requestor’s information – who created it and when it was submitted.
Q. How will the approver know they have to approve something in the system?
A. Approvers will receive email notifications, indicating they have something to approve within PASS. In addition, when they log into PASS, the Approve button on the Swoosh screen (Main Page) flashes indicating they have something that requires approval.
Q. Whose responsibility is it to audit whether the correct commodity codes and to PCA’s are being used?
A. The commodity codes will be monitored by the ACCO.  The PCA’s will be monitored by the Budget Responsible Managers and Budget Reviewers. The commodity codes are generally mapped to what is being purchased at the comptroller object level and defaulted (as agencies continue to be introduced to PASS additional commodity codes are mapped).
Q. Can the same Budget Reviewer also be specified as the Budget Responsible Manager?
A. In most situations and for segregation of duties these roles should belong to different users.  Budget Reviewers are from the CFO and are concerned with requisitions $25k and above.  Budget Responsible Managers are agency program managers who are concerned with requisitions that hit their budgets irrespective of the dollar amount on the Requisition.
Q. What is the approval flow for PASS e-forms?
A. User eForm Approval Flow– Always goes to the supervisor first, PASS Training Approver (to ensure user takes Buyer training), the Agency Specific Security Officer and finally the District SOAR User Administrator Supplier eForm Approval Flow – It goes to the Supplier Enablement Manager (who enables the supplier on the Ariba Network) and then to the SOAR Vendor Administrator (who ensures that the data gets input correctly in SOAR.
Q. Can you give some example cases of where the ACCO would deny a requisition that has been approved by all previous approvers?
A. An example of why an ACCO would deny a requisition that has been fully approved by others: He/She realizes that the requisition is a replicate of another requisition from the same agency.
Q. If there is an agency that needs someone to "watch" ALL requisitions, any amount, is there a role that will accomplish that, and if not, how can that be done?
A. Currently the Agency Manager Role will watch all requisitions over 25K (more than one user can be in that role). A user can be assigned the ‘Agency Specific’ QueryAll role, so that they will be able to run reports for their agency (irrespective of who created it within their agency). Since reports are pretty easy to use and real-time, these users will in effect be watching everything that goes in for their agency. A modification to ARIBA must be made to accomplish the specifics for watcher for any amount.
Q. Can an Approver delegate his/her approval to someone with a lower management level?
A. If the Approver has a supervisor, then he/she will only be able to select a user with the same management level or higher. If the Approver does not have a Supervisor, then he/she will be able to select any user at any management level.
Q. How are Requisitions over a million dollars handled since there are special permissions needed from the Mayor’s office?
A. The process is offline and OCP Buyer has to co-ordinate the approval via the EOM Office (as they do it currently).
Q. Who will be allowed to change accounting information?
A. Only the Budget Reviewer and the Contracting Officer have editing permissions on requisitions. The Requestor can only change accounting information before it has been submitted.  If the Requestor would like to change the accounting information after submission, he/she would have to withdraw the requisition first. If the Budget Reviewer or Contracting Officer changes the accounting information, the requisition will regenerate the approval flow (which will include the original Requestor).
Q. Can the system automatically route all Truck (or Fleet related) requisitions to DPW for approval/processing?
A. All commodities that you purchase have a specific commodity code (NIGP codes). Based on commodity code for Fleet equipment the approval flow will be modified to send the request for additional approval to Fleet management group at DPW. Also see the answer for Fleet Management above.
Q. What is the time-out limit for NON-APPROVED pre-encumbrances to release the funds? Can this be an Agency specific setting?
A. If there is no activity for 3 business days (excluding the OCP Buyer), the requisitions will time out.  This is s system wide time out period and cannot be determined at an agency level. Once the time out period occurs, the pre-encumbrances will be released.
Q. What is the maximum period of time a Delegation of Approval authority can be set?
A. There is no maximum period of time for a delegation of approval.
Q. Why is IT approval required for items such as mouse pads, diskettes and the like?
A. Currently the rule is based on NIGP Commodity Codes that are either ‘IT’ goods or services. Since the commodity codes for Diskettes and mouse pads may be related to an IT Commodity Code, the IT approval rule will be triggered.
For this reason for small dollar purchases, the IT Approval is a watcher (for less than 25K), and a required approver for purchases above $25k.
Q. How do you remove an approver after adding and leaving the ‘add approver’ process?  (Changed my mind, boss changed her mind about approval requirement.)
A. Only the user who has added the Approver can remove the newly added person. The user would click on the ‘Delete Approver’ button on the Approval Flow tab.
Q. As an Approver, what happens when I click on the hyperlink from the email?
A. You will be brought to the PASS login screen.  Once you log in, you will be brought directly to the requisition referenced in the email.
Q. Do Watchers receive emails indicating that they have requisitions to view?
A. Yes, Watchers do receive emails that there are requisitions to view. Watchers can change their email preferences should they choose not to be notified of such requisitions.
Q. How do you get an Approver in the system whose agency has not been rolled out yet?
A. No, users are only in the system after their agency goes live, not before.
Q. If Person A delegates approval authority to Person B, can Person B approve on documents that pre-date the delegation start date?
A. Person B is not notified of the documents that pre-date the delegation start date but he/she can still approve those documents.
Q. Is the 2-day escalation rule based on calendar days or business days?
A. The 2-day escalation rule is based on business days, not calendar days.
Q. How are approvals determined? 
A. The approvals are determined by:
  • Chain of command (your supervisor will most likely have to approve your requisition),
  • Management level (your monetary threshold of purchasing),
  • Commodity (type of purchase you are making),
  • If the requisition total is greater than $25,000, the OCFO Approver (Budget Reviewer) will be added as an approver.
  • Some approvals are required and others are considered Watchers
Q. Why would I add an Approver?
A. You are not required to add an Approver but you may want to. Some examples are listed below:
  • An OCP Contracting Officer will want to add a Contracting Specialist before him/her to do the actual sourcing of a non-catalog item (distribution of work) or a catalog item.
  • As a requestor, you might want to add a person to simply be informed of your requisition (you would make him/her an optional Approver – Watcher – which means he/she will not need to act on the requisition).
  • As an OCP Contracting Officer, when you finish your sourcing event, you can add the budget responsible manager or the original requestor before you to verify the details.