DARS Newsletter May 2017
- 1 Introduction
Dear Users, Welcome to this month’s DARS Newsletter, which has a focus on communicating with the helpdesk. Newsletters since May 2015 can be found at http://darswiki.bsp.ox.ac.uk/index.php/DARS_Newsletters. And remember that you can contact the DARS helpdesk via email@example.com.
In this issue:
- DARS Programme update
- BBIS websites - Contact us before changing parts not covered in training
- Marking addresses as invalid - follow up
- DARS news and features
- Medical degree clean up
- Membership of mailing lists
- Notes, comments, and interactions
DARS Programme update
Over many weeks and months, the DARS project teams (for the Gift Administration Project, and the Audit and Compliance Project) have been gathering your thoughts and ideas for changes to functionality that will improve your daily interactions with the DARS system, as well as ensuring smoother operation in a new legislative landscape. As we move towards delivering some of these changes, there will be regular monthly ‘DARS Updates’ and other forms of communication to ensure you know what changes are coming and how they might affect you. The first of these updates will be available in June 2017. Our current plan is that the monthly DARS newsletter will continue as a separate strand, concentrating on operational and ongoing support items.
BBIS websites - Contact us before changing parts not covered in training
We would like to remind all owners of BBIS websites provided by the DARS Support Centre that although they are free to make changes to their websites, some parts included in it are not covered in training (such as the “User Login” part for user logins and registrations and the “Payment 2.0” part for processing donation and event booking payments). Making changes to these parts without training can be harmful to your website, as it may prevent it from working properly. An incident has recently occurred where the registration settings in the User Login part had been changed on a BBIS website. These changes prevented registrations made by alumni on their website from being processed into DARS. If you need to make changes to any parts or pages on your website which you have not been trained to use, or if you want to change a part but are not sure if training was provided for doing so, please contact the DARS Helpdesk before making any changes yourself. We can advise you on whether training material is available in the DARS Wiki to show you how to update the part yourself, or if you need to arrange for the DARS Support Centre to make the change for you.
Marking addresses as invalid - follow up
Last month’s newsletter contained the article in italics below. We have been asked to point out that in the event that you process a ‘gone away’, and there is no valid address, you should check to see if there is a gift aid declaration. If there is you should attempt to contact the donor since the declaration needs to be updated. “When processing gone away post, it is important to mark the address as no longer valid. It is also natural to examine other addresses on the individual’s record, to see if one of them can be used for mailings. However, we have had instances where this has happened without the address being examined first. For example, the other address may be the same, or similar to another address that has already been marked as ‘do not send’ and end-dated; or it may be a reasonable inference that the address was a parental address when the person was a student, but is unlikely to be where the individual lives now. Therefore, when processing invalid addresses, please consider whether the new address you select is likely to be useful. It is not true that ‘any address is better than no address’.”
DARS news and features
Medical degree clean up
Medical education received by students at the University has a more complicated structure than for any other subject. Students may only study their first three years at Oxford, and then study further elsewhere; or they may study for three years elsewhere before continuing at Oxford. They may study for all six years at the University, sometimes staying at one college for all six years, while in other cases they may switch to a different college after their first three years. In addition, the name of the degrees granted have changed several times over the last fifty or so years. Earlier this month we ran a datafix to clean up some of the medical degrees. This has resulted in corrections to the education data for over 1400 medical alumni.
Membership of mailing lists
From time to time, DARS users ask to be unsubscribed from mailing lists, such as the “DARS-users-bulletin-group” which is used to communicate to all DARS users, or one of the mailing lists used to mail Special Interest Groups (SIGs), such as the DARS Revenue SIG. Membership of the DARS-users-bulletin-group” is mandatory for all DARS users, and membership of the SIG mailing lists is required for individuals with particular security roles.
Notes, comments, and interactions
Please remember that all data in DARS, including that in notes, comments and interactions, would have to be disclosed to the Data Subject in the event that they submitted a Subject Access Request. Consequently, give thought to any data you record – would you be happy if it was recorded about you? You should also consider examining past notes, comments and interactions. Recently, we have advised individual participants to remove data associated with
a.the indebtedness of the Data Subject to the University, and
b.medical conditions that the Data Subject had in the past.
You may also remember in a past newsletter that we removed the phrase ‘this person is tricky to deal with’.