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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

USAS and CAPPS Financials Confidentiality Indicator

Issued: July 28, 1999
Updated: Feb. 16, 2018 – View Changes

FPP E.045

Table of Contents

Overview

Applicable to

State agencies and institutions of higher education entering data in USAS and CAPPS Financials

Policy

The ability of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to accurately distinguish confidential and non-confidential payments is critical in making payment information promptly available to the public. State agencies and institutions of higher education (agencies) must ensure that the confidentiality indicator in the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) or the Financials application of the Centralized Accounting and Payroll/Personnel System (CAPPS Financials) is properly marked on confidential transactions to protect payee confidentiality.

Per Texas Government Code, Section 403.024d, the liability for the release of confidential information due to an incorrect confidentiality indicator lies with the agency submitting the confidential transaction.

The Comptroller’s office uses the value agencies enter in the confidentiality indicator field to shield confidential transactions from disclosure in requests under the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552) and on the Texas Transparency website. The value is also used in the Texas Identification Number System (TINS) and Treasury Operations’ Web Warrant Inquiry and Cancellation System (WWIC).

Note: USAS is the accounting system of record for the state of Texas. Data entered in CAPPS Financials is loaded to USAS via batch interface.

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Determining Confidentiality

Under state law, it is the responsibility of the agency submitting a transaction to determine the confidentiality of the transaction. Transactions are legally considered public unless specifically excluded by the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552). When an agency marks a transaction confidential, the agency should be prepared to cite the law or attorney general opinion that excludes the payment from public disclosure.

Agencies also have a responsibility to keep confidential information private. In addition to properly marking the confidentiality indicator on confidential transactions, data items described in Business and Commerce Code, Section 521.002, must not be entered into a field not specifically created for that information unless explicitly allowed by Comptroller’s office policy.

Note: Information considered to be Protected Health Information under the Privacy Rule in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) must not be submitted to the Comptroller’s office in USAS, CAPPS Financials or by any other method.

For more information, see USAS and CAPPS Financials Invoice Number Field Requirements (FPP E.023).

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Marking Transactions as Confidential

In USAS

Confidentiality fields

Agencies are required to appropriately mark transactions in USAS as confidential using any of the following fields:

Note: The Comptroller’s office considers vendor/payee numbers to be sensitive and does not include this element in reports accessible to the general public. Do not mark a transaction with a Y or S based solely on this element.

Valid field values

USAS Field Value Description
Blank
(Default)
Transaction contains no confidential information.
Y

Yes. The transaction is confidential and exempted from disclosure under the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552).

S

Some. The transaction is not exempted from disclosure under the Public Information Act, but it contains some confidential information. For example, a transaction would be marked S if the payee’s address and telephone number are confidential, but the name and transaction amount are not.

NNo. Transaction contains no confidential information.

In CAPPS Financials

Confidentiality fields

Agencies are required to appropriately mark transactions in CAPPS Financials as confidential by using the Confidentiality Indicator* in the USAS Data sub-tab, found under the Invoice Information tab on the Accounts Payable / Regular Entry page.

CAPPS Financials — Confidentiality Indicator under the USAS Data sub-tab

CAPPS confidential indicator under the USA Data sub-tab

*Note: When data from CAPPS Financials is uploaded to USAS, the values entered in the Confidentiality Indicator field are converted to the valid values for USAS (Y, S or N).

Note: The Comptroller’s office considers vendor/payee numbers to be sensitive and does not include this element in reports accessible to the general public. Do not mark a transaction with a Y or S based solely on this element.

Valid field values

CAPPS Financials Field Value Description
Not Confidential (Default)

Transaction contains no confidential information.

Note: Field value converts to N when uploaded to USAS.

Confidential

The transaction is confidential and exempted from disclosure under the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552).

Note: Field value converts to Y when uploaded to USAS.

Some Confidential Info

The transaction is not exempted from disclosure under the Public Information Act, but it contains some confidential information. For example, a transaction would be marked Some Confidential Info if the payee’s address and telephone number are confidential, but the name and transaction amount are not.

Note: Field value converts to S when uploaded to USAS.

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Expenditure Transfer Vouchers

If the original payment was marked as confidential or as containing some confidential information, any expenditure transfer voucher (ETV) transaction moving the expense must be marked the same to maintain the confidential designation.

In USAS

To process an ETV in USAS, use one of the following, making sure the confidentiality indicator contains the correct value (Y, S or N):

Note: The Balanced JV Transaction Entry (509) screen is not available for this activity.

In CAPPS Financials

To process an ETV in CAPPS Financials, use the Invoice Information tab on the Accounts Payable / Regular Entry page, making sure the confidentiality indicator is appropriately marked (Not Confidential, Confidential or Some Confidential Info).

Find out more

For more information, see Correcting Bookkeeping and Cost Allocation Entries (APS 021) (FPP A.013).

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How the Confidentiality Indicator is Used

The confidentiality indicator values in USAS (Y, S or N) are permanently stored in the accounting transaction history record. No USAS or CAPPS Financials security restrictions are placed on a transaction based on this value. Although the confidentiality indicator fields in USAS and CAPPS Financials are for informational purposes only, several other applications use this indicator (as stored in the USAS accounting transaction history record, which includes the CAPPS Financials indicators uploaded by batch to USAS that have been converted to the USAS values Y, S or N):

  • Public Information Act requests – Transactions marked Y or S are individually considered and confidential information is not disclosed. Additionally, the Comptroller’s office considers vendor/payee numbers to be sensitive and does not include them in reports accessible to the general public.
  • Where the Money Goes Requirements (FPP G.004) – Transactions marked Y are available to the public on the Comptroller’s Texas Transparency website with the payee name displayed as CONFIDENTIAL. Transactions marked S are disclosed since there is no confidential information in the fields shown on the website.
    • Where the Money Goes displays vendor/payee name, comptroller object, payment written date, transaction amount and agency. If the transaction has been marked Y, the payee name displays as CONFIDENTIAL.
    • The Data Center provides access to machine-readable, platform-independent raw datasets, such as monthly expenditures by agency that include comptroller object, vendor/payee name, payment date, appropriation number, appropriation year and appropriated fund. If the transaction has been marked Y, the payee name displays as CONFIDENTIAL.
      Note: Vendor/payee numbers are not included in Where the Money Goes or the Data Center.
  • Treasury Operations’ Web Warrant Inquiry and Cancellation System (WWIC) – If a payment contains a transaction marked Y or S, special security access to confidential payments is required for either viewing or canceling the payment using the WWIC system.
  • Texas Identification Number System (TINS) – The value entered for the confidentiality indicator as it appears in USAS (Y, S or N) is stored in TINS and reflected in the CI field on the PAYVEN screen.

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Reclassifying Transactions

If an agency fails to mark the confidentiality indicator appropriately on a transaction, the Comptroller’s office has a procedure for Reclassifying Transactions as Confidential. Note that this procedure applies to the Where the Money Goes database and Data Center only and not USAS. There is no procedure to adjust USAS history.

Changes to this Document
02/16/2018 Minor revisions for clarity
02/19/2016 Minor revisions for clarity; added CAPPS contact info
08/10/2015 Updated FPP to include CAPPS Financials confidentiality indicator info
05/30/2014 Clarified how payee/vendor numbers are reported
01/10/2012 Added links to other resources such as statute and other FPPs where appropriate
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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