Frequently aske​d questions

​The list below provides information and resources for budget staff on frequently asked questions. Some of the information covered in the FAQs are: descriptions, processes, procedures, documents, and other resources involved in the preparation, enactment, and administration of state budget. Click here​ for a downloadable version of our FAQs with glossary.
Click on a question below to view the answer:
PICS “web reports” are also accessed with your RACF ID and RACF ID password.  Assistance with ID and passwords should be sent to​​
Revenues may be entered in BASE or by Package, but it depends upon the circumstances of the request, A few examples are:
• ORBITS Base Budget column comes from the Bien 2019 M01 version including revenues accounts excluding beginning balances.
• Revenues should generally be adjusted in BASE
• Revenues for new expenditures still need to be recorded in BASE unless the revenues are new as well.  If the revenues are new then they would go into a Policy Package.  
• If requesting new General Fund (GF) expenditures, then GF appropriation (account 0050) must be equal by Summary Cross Reference in all columns and/or packages. General Fund is the one exception to this rule.
Debt Service amounts are provided by the DAS CFO Capital Finance and Facilities Planning Section for the bond programs they administer. To pass audit, the debt service entries must balances to the latest distribution from DAS and documentation from agencies with independent bond programs. The DAS Capital Finance team will distribute updated Base debt service numbers to SABRS Coordinators prior to Current Service Level audit deadlines. They will be updated as bonds are sold or refunded.  ​    ​​​​
The Lottery Fund distribution is provided by DAS Business Services. In order for an agency to pass audit, the Lottery Fund revenue entries must balances to the latest distribution.
When the Legislative bill states “In addition to and not in lieu of any other appropriation……” it requires that a new appropriation number be established​
• The Agency will need to submit a 20 Appropriation Profile form to​ to get a new appropriation number set up.  The form is on our website
SGSC (State Government Service Charges) must balance to the statewide Pricelist​ at all stages of the budget in order to pass audit. Generally speaking, SGSC should not be added to Policy Packages. If there are circumstances that will drive assessment charges beyond the budget at CSL, this should be discussed with the agency’s CFO analyst. This line item as an assessment cannot be included in the agency’s list of proposed reductions. If the agency has a plan to reduce discretionary charges for service expenditures, these are budgeted in individual accounts such as Telecommunications or Data Processing and this should be discussed with the agency’s CFO analyst.  ​
During budget start-up for the coming biennium (usually around January of even numbered years), agencies should review their ORBITS cross reference report (BSU002A) and decide whether changes are needed. If a reorganization results in the desire to move history from one budget structure to another, notify SABRS and we can work with you to do this, as long as the data move is a one-to-one or a many-to-one data move, but not a one-to-many. (See Budget Structure Tips​)​
ORBITS captures current biennium limitation changes through the February legislative session and draws the line there when copying Base into the new biennium for CSL development. Anything after February of even years will only be captured in the accountin​g systems​
The following accounts are protected and may not be changed because they generally inflate at a higher rate that other standard accounts:
•  4225 State Gov. Service charges
•  4300 Professional Services
•  4315 IT Professional Services
•  4325 Attorney General
•  4425 Facilities Rental and Taxes
•  The inflation calculation is done on packages 010 & 031 for inclusion of standard inflation factors in addition to what was included on the Base Budget that was loaded from the PICS Freeze process
•  This procedure may only be run once per agency
•  It is an all or nothing calculation across all SCRs.  It also calculates All Fund Types (AFTs)
•  You have to make any package 022 entries prior to SABRS running the calculator, but you shouldn’t make other entries in package 010 or 031 until after the auto inflation has been ran.  The inflation calculator will wipe out whatever is in those packages and you will have to re-enter the data.
•  Contact​ when you are ready to have this procedure run for your agency.
Re-spin allows agencies some flexibility to adjust accounts to better reflect their budget expenditures. The re-spin calculations must include the appropriate OPE values on ORBITS and balance by SCR/appropriated fund types (see SABRS ARB presentation for more information). Re-spin is allowed on certain Non-PICS OPE allowable accounts:
•  acct 3160 – Temps
•  acct 3170 – Overtime
•  accts 3180 & 3190 – Shift & Other Differentials
PICS General Parameters:
•  Only Base positions (not double-fills) are calculated
•  Current biennium LD’s are dropped and not calculated for future biennium budget
•  The compensation plans for the future biennium are used, not the current compensation plan
•  Differentials (i.e. lead workers and Work out of Class) are not calculated in PICS, those are driven by indicators in PPDB and budgeted for in Non-PICS line items
•  Non-PICS accounts such as Overtime will drive an increase in PERS and SST that will have to be re-balanced
•  Vacant positions are budgeted at step 2
•  Usually PICS captures steps and a current biennium COLA (PS inflation), but this is decided for each budget build
•  PICS is a complex system with many layers of logic built in. When reviewing PICS data, the idea is to get close, but will vary from expenditure due to rounding and the factors listed here. PICS creates position budgets for two years, which means that it is an estimate, accounting for the fact that agencies have vacancies and rehire at different steps and there may be a Salary Pot limitation adjustment mid-biennium
During budget execution a position can be moved between DCR’s by using the PICS DCR Change Request Form.  One of the two forms in the workbook should be filled out and submitted to SABRS at​.
•  The first tab applies to positions being moved between DCR’s within the same SCR and can be filled out and sent to SABRS without CFO Analyst approval.
•  The second tab applies to positions being moved across SCR’s and requires approval from your agency CFO Analyst prior to being submitted to SABRS. E-mail approval is sufficient for processing the form.
During budget preparation moving and shifting funds on a position has to be performed in a Package 060 Technical Adjustment, or within a Policy Option Package, or within a CFO or LFO package.  The package to use depends on a number of variables such as the timing of the request.
Capital Improvement and Capital Construction are expenditures for land, buildings and support systems, and equipment/information technology-related projects or systems.  (These categories should not include routine maintenance and repairs.)  While these are not expenditure categories, these two are treated as separate program units in agency budgets.  DAS will prepare a separate appropriation bill or bills for capital construction projects in the Governor's Recommended Budget.
Capital Improvements Defined:
A capital improvement project must meet the following criteria:
•  The total project cost will be less than $1 million including anticipated requests in future biennia, and
•  Costs will be capitalized in accordance withOAM 15.60.10 (i.e. (a) the expenditure is for acquisition (including land) or construction of a new asset, or, (b) for existing assets, the expenditure significantly increases the value, extends the useful life, or makes it adaptable to a different use); or;
•  Costs are for substantial (non-routine) maintenance, or repair.
•  Land acquisition for a project that has total, complete project costs of less than $1 million should be requested as a Capital Improvement Policy Package.
Major Construction or Acquisition Projects Defined
A Major Construction or Acquisition project must meet the following criteria:
•  Costs will be capitalized as required by the OAM of the DAS.
•  The complete project cost will be $1 million or more.  Major projects normally follow a two-phase process.  Phase one is planning and design; phase two is construction.  This criterion applies to the combined total estimated costs of all phases of a project.
•  It must build, acquire, adapt, replace, or change the use or function of an information technology-related system(s), a facility or group of related facilities (see reconstructions under Operating Expenditures.)​
• During budget prep: Base Nonlimited Adjustments – Changes in programs with approved Nonlimited Other Funds and Nonlimited Federal Funds expenditures should be shown in BASE. Requests for new Nonlimited expenditure authority should be requested in policy packages.
• During budget execution: Periodically throughout the biennium agencies will request an increase to their Nonlimited appropriations.  This is typically done with a memo to the agencies CFO and LFO analysts, however sometimes it will be done as part of their allotment plan.   
   ·Make sure that the agency has sent the request to the people denoted  on the welcome screen (“Current Version”) in ORBITS.
Upon approval by the CFO Analyst (in coordination with the LFO Analyst), SABRS will be able to process the request.
Every agency has a designated SABRS Coordinator responsible for working directly with SABRS on a variety of issues/tasks.  To request access to PICS this coordinator must submit a completed ORBITS/PICS Security Form​ to​​​​
Send in an email to​​. Remember that ORBITS has an 8 character limit, so if you have recently changed your password, it will only retain the first 8 characters.​
PICS is accessed through the mainframe using your RACF ID and RACF ID password.  All PICS password and User ID issues should be directed to the DAS RACF User Administration Group at the following address​​
Send in request to reschedule the unscheduled amounts.
•  The rescheduling needs to be sent to the agency’s analyst (CFO and LFO) for approval.
•  Let SABRS know which appropriation number the rescheduling is for and the amount.
•  Include PCA and Legislative bill reference (no need for the Legislative Bill unless there is direction in there for the rescheduling)
   · Include any other documentation or explain that the agency deems pertain​