Glossary—CTHRU Open Records Transparency Platform

A

Accounts Payable Period
The Accounts Payable Period is July 1st - August 31st and constitutes the period of time beyond a fiscal year (July 1st - June 30th) during which bills may be paid for goods received or services performed during the prior fiscal year.

Amount

Dollar amount paid to a vendor.

Annual Rate
For employees, the annual rate is their annual salary.  For contractors, the annual rate is projected earnings, based on their hourly rate, for the calendar year.

Appropriation Name
A name of an account, used for all account types—budgeted, non-budgeted, special revenue, capital and trust—in the state accounting system. 

Appropriation Number/Appropriation Code
A unique eight-digit number, as identified in the General Appropriation Act (GAA) or subsequent budget bills, capital appropriations bill, or established administratively, with the legislative authorization for a department to spend funds to fulfill the department legislative mission, including specifically identified  purposes.  Each Department is legislatively responsible for conducting all activities and spending in accordance with law, and payments are not pre-audited by any other state department.  All inquiries related to any specific spending or payments that appear in CTHRU should be directed to the specific department that issued the payment(s).   

Appropriation Type
Appropriation types identify how appropriations (also referred to as accounts) are funded.  Types include direct appropriation (funded by tax and non-tax revenues), retained revenue (generally funded by non-tax revenue from sources such as fees for licenses) received by a department for a particular purpose), capital (generally funded through borrowing), federal (funded by federal grants) and trust accounts (funded by contributions or non-tax revenue).  

Appropriation Types in MMARS:

  • 1CN: (Central Expense, Non-Subsidiarized)

  • 1CS: (Central Expense, Subsidiarized)

  • 1RN: (Retained Revenue, Non-Subsidiarized)

  • 1RS: (Retained Revenue, Subsidiarized)

  • 1IN: (Intergovernmental, Non-Subsidiarized)

  • 1IS: (Intergovernmental, Subsidiarized)

  • 2CN: (Capital)

  • 3TN: (Trusts)

  • 3TX: (Higher Education Trusts)

  • 4FN: (Grants)

Bargaining Group
An employee union, or group, if non-union.

Bargaining Group  Number
Number assigned to a bargaining group in HR/CMS (the central payroll system for all departments except UMass) or HR Direct (the UMass payroll system).

Base Expenditure ID/Base ID
CTHRU assigns a unique identifier (or counter) to each uploaded transaction. This identifier is not referenced in the accounting system (MMARS).

Base Pay
For employees, base pay includes regular wages and retroactive payments, and for contractors, base pay is the year-to-date earnings.

Budget
An allocation of state resources for the operations of state government for a specific period of time (i.e. Fiscal Year).

Budget Fiscal Year
The period during which a fiscal year's budget may be expended.  This period is the fiscal year from July 1st through June 30th, within which all goods and/or services must be received to be payable with those fiscal year funds.  Payments may be made through the accounts payable period (July 1st - August 31st) for that fiscal year.

Budgetary (1CS/1CN) Appropriation Type
Appropriation funded by tax and non-tax revenue and subject to authorization (appropriation) in the annual General Appropriation Act (GAA) or subsequent budget bills. When subsidiarized (1CS), the funding is further broken down into object classes.

Budgetary 1RN and 1RS Appropriation Type
Appropriation funded by retained revenue and subject to authorization (appropriation) in the annual General Appropriation Act (GAA) or subsequent budget bills.

Buyout Pay/Buyouts

The “buyout pay actual” includes sick leave buy back, which are payments to eligible employees upon retirement, based on a percentage of accrued sick time; and also includes vacation in lieu payments to eligible employees upon retirement or termination based on accrued vacation time. Early Retirement incentives are not expected to be included.   

C

Cabinet/ Secretariat
A Secretariat (also known as Cabinet) is defined as an executive office that reports to the Governor. Note:  In CTHRU, Cabinet/Secretariat also includes offices that do not report to the Governor, such as constitutional offices (e.g., Office of the Treasurer), and independent agencies (e.g., Office of the Comptroller).  Executive Departments usually report to Secretariats.  For example, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EHS) is a Secretariat and the Department of Public Health is a Department within that Secretariat.

Capital (2CN) Appropriation Type
Appropriation established in capital authorization legislation to fund expenditures for facility and infrastructure construction or large equipment and related costs, usually from the sale of state bonds.

Checkbook
Checkbook is an alternate view (to the Spending Summary) of the data.  It resembles a check register, and includes payment information such as Vendor, Department, Appropriation, Payment Date, Amount and Payment ID.

Contract ID
A 20-character alphanumeric code assigned to a contract, defined by the department, or assigned by MMARS.

Create Date

Date the transaction is posted to CTHRU.

 

D

Dataset
A dataset represents a complete set of data, where each row is a record and the columns within the record represent different variables.  For example, the Ledger dataset in CTHRU Spending contains the entire database of spending transactions over a period of years. 

The Open Payroll dataset contains the entire database of employee payroll payments over a period of years.

Date/Payment Date
In CTHRU Spending, the date a payment is made, either through an ACH transaction or a paper check.

Department
An entity of state government with a specific mission, established by the legislature, which may either report to cabinet-level units of government, known as executive offices or secretariats, or be independent divisions or departments.  Each department has an assigned three-letter code in the accounting system (MMARS), for example, the Department of Children and Families (DSS).  Each Department is legislatively responsible for conducting all activities and spending in accordance with law, and payments are not pre-audited by any other state department.  All inquiries related to any specific spending or payments that appear in CTHRU should be directed to the specific department that issued the payment(s).

Department Code/Dept Code
Three letter identification of a department, for example, the Office of the Comptroller is CTR.

Department_location_zip_code

Zip code of employees’ department location.

Direct appropriation account/ Non-Subsidiarized (1CN) /Subsidiarized (1CS) Appropriation Type 

Various alternate names for an appropriation funded by the annual budget (the General Appropriation Act, or GAA).  When subsidiarized, the appropriation funding is further broken down into object classes.

Download
Copying data from the CTHRU application to a user’s computer.

E

Employment Type
Employees can be categorized as full time or part time, regular employee or contractor.

Encumbrance ID
A 20-character alphanumeric code assigned to an encumbrance, which is a MMARS reference for a departmental contract transaction.  Each Department is legislatively responsible for conducting all activities and spending in accordance with law, and contracts are not pre-audited by any other state department.  All inquiries related to any specific contracts that appear in CTHRU should be directed to the specific department that issued the contract(s).   

Expenditure Classification Handbook
A manual published by the Comptroller, which defines the object classes and object codes within the class with the legal cite and required contract and payment documents to support the recording of expenses and subsequent tax reporting requirements. (Expenditure Classification Handbook) .

F

Federal Grant
A specific amount of funding provided by the federal government for a set period of time to finance programs and activities managed by a Commonwealth department. Federal grants are awarded subject to restrictions set out in grant agreements between the federal government and the Commonwealth. Federal grants, unlike federal reimbursements, are deposited in and expended almost exclusively through appropriation type 4FN accounts.

Federal Reimbursement or Federal Financial Participation (FFP)
Revenues received by the Commonwealth from the federal government, generally based on a formula under which the Commonwealth is reimbursed for a percentage of its expenditures in particular programs. The largest federal reimbursements are for the Commonwealth’s Medicaid expenses.  Unlike federal grants, most federal reimbursements are deposited in the Commonwealth’s General Fund and finance direct appropriation (1CS/1CN) or retained (1RS/1RN) accounts.

Federal (4FN) Appropriation Type
An appropriation type funded by federal grants.

Fiscal Period
An amount of time during the fiscal year that approximates a month. For example, July is designated as Fiscal Period 1 and January is Fiscal Period 7.

Fiscal Quarter
A three-month time frame during the fiscal year.  For example, Quarter 1 would include July, August & September.

Fiscal Year
July 1st - June 30th

Fund
Funds are fiscal and accounting entities, almost always established in general law, used to deposit revenues that are dedicated to specific purposes and finance expenditures for those purposes. For instance, gas tax collections and vehicle registration fees are deposited in the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, which in turn is used to fund transportation-related spending, including the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Commonwealth debt service on bonds used to finance road and bridge construction.

Fund Code
A unique four-digit number assigned to each fund.

H

HR/CMS
One of two payroll systems authorized by the Comptroller (c29 s31), the Human Resource/Compensation Management System (HR/CMS) is the central payroll system for all departments except the University of Massachusetts, which manages HR Direct, the other authorized payroll system.

I

Intragovernmental Services Fund (1IN) Appropriation Type
Interdepartmental funds are received from fee-based charges for statutorily authorized commodities and services.  These commodities and services are available to State Departments (buyers) on an ad hoc request basis, a public fee basis, or statewide chargeback basis from other State Departments.  Departments (sellers) must have specific legislative authorization to conduct chargebacks. The funding and revenue in this type of appropriation are included in statewide totals.

L

Ledger
In the context of CTHRU Spending and Payroll modules, the term Ledger constitutes the dataset for the particular CTHRU data being viewed.  The Entire Ledger is the same as the entire CTHRU dataset used by the CTHRU site.

M

Median Employee Pay
The median employee pay is the middle total pay amount of all employees with either the same job title, within the same department, or within the same bargaining group.  In other words, it falls right in the middle of all employee salaries if they were arranged in order from lowest to highest.  Half the employees have salaries below the median amount; half the employees have salaries above the median.

MMARS
Massachusetts Management, Accounting and Reporting System (MMARS).  It is the official accounting system prescribed by the Comptroller (c7A s7) for all Commonwealth business.

O

Object Class
High level categorization system for expenses, with 18 different categories.  For example, AA is State Employee Compensation, EE covers Administrative Expenses, and UU covers Information Technology (IT) Expenses.  All Object Classes and Object Codes are detailed in the Expenditure Classification Handbook (Expenditure Classification Handbook) .

Object Codes
Object Codes provide sub-categorization of expenses.  For example, within the EE Object Class for administrative expenses E15 is the specific object code for bottled water.  All Object Classes and Object Codes are detailed in the Expenditure Classification Handbook.  In CTHRU, an Object Code is called an object.

Office of the Comptroller
The Office of the Comptroller (CTR) establishes and maintains the proper accounting of revenues and expenditures in the state accounting system (MMARS) and state payroll system (HR/CMS), fulfills federal and state tax reporting requirements and publishes audited financial statements (MGL c7A). The office promotes accountability, integrity, and clarity in Commonwealth business, fiscal, and administrative enterprises.

Other Pay
Includes standby pay, shift differential, roll call pay, police detail, stipends, etc.

Overtime Pay
Pay for work outside of employees’ normal hours.

P

Pay_ base_actual

Worksheet term for base pay, see base pay for definition.

Pay_buyout_actual

Worksheet term for buyout pay, see buyout pay for definition.

Pay_other_actual

Worksheet term for other pay, see other pay for definition.

Pay_overtime_actual

Worksheet term for overtime pay, see overtime pay for definition.

Pay_total_actual

Worksheet term for total pay, see total pay for definition.

Pay_year_to_date

Amount of pay received year to date.

Payment Date/Date
The date a payment was issued.

Payment ID
A 20-character alphanumeric code assigned to a payment, defined by MMARS or the department.  Each Department is legislatively responsible for conducting all activities and spending in accordance with law, and payments are not pre-audited by any other state department.  All inquiries related to any specific spending or payments that appear in CTHRU should be directed to the specific department that issued the payment(s).

Payment Method
The method of payment to a vendor.  Electronic funds transfer (EFT) is required for all contracted vendors.  Checks (AD) are issued for new payees or payees receiving less than 4 payments annually.

Payroll Reject (999)
A holding account to allow all payroll to process in a given payroll cycle.  Accounting corrections will occur in subsequent pay periods.

Position Title

A position title is a term that describes the job held by an employee in a few words or less. Depending on the job, a position title may describe the job responsibilities, the level of the job, or both.

Position_type

Positions are either full time or part time and either contractor or benefited employee.

R

Retained Revenue/Non-Subsidiarized (1RN) / Subsidiarized (1RS) Appropriation Type
Various alternate names for retained revenue appropriations generally funded by fee or other non-tax sources and subject to authorization (appropriation) in the annual General Appropriation Act (GAA) or subsequent budget bills. When subsidiarized, the appropriated funding is further broken down into object classes.

S

Service End date
In the CTHRU Payroll module, the service end date is the end date of the last pay period (in the calendar year) in which the employee or contractor was paid.  This is generally the last pay period of the calendar year.

State Authority
''State authority'' a body politic and corporate constituted as a public instrumentality of the commonwealth and established by an act of the General Court to serve an essential governmental function; provided, however, that state authority shall not include: (1) a state agency; (2) a city or town; (3) a body controlled by a city or town; or (4) a separate body politic for which the governing body is elected, in whole or in part, by the general public or by representatives of member cities or towns.

Summary Transaction
These transactions are summaries of payments issued by a department through an approved local payment system. The accounting summary for each transaction is then recorded on MMARS, but the detailed payment information is kept by the department.

T

Total Pay
Payroll sum total of base pay, overtime, buyout and other pay.

Trans_number

A number uniquely created by CTHRU to identify individual employees.

Trust Fund (3TN) Appropriation Type
This appropriation type includes four different categories of accounts: (1) “trust fund” accounts, which are funded by deposits of monies, assets, or both, which are held in trust by a trustee authorized by the legislature or as a temporary expendable trust authorized by the Secretary of Administration & Finance; (2) “non-budgeted special revenue fund” accounts, which are accounting entities established in law into which proceeds of specific revenue sources are deposited, which are restricted or committed to expenditure for specified purposes; (3) “debt service fund” accounts, from which are paid debt service owed by the Commonwealth to bondholders; and (4) “agency fund accounts”, into which funds collected by the Commonwealth are held on behalf of another entity. These include, for example, taxes collected for and transferred to local governments and the portion of local aid paid to charter schools.  

V

Vendor/Payee
An organization, business or individual providing goods, services or both to the Commonwealth, or a recipient or beneficiary of the Commonwealth each receiving payment recorded in detail or summary on MMARS.  All inquiries related to any specific spending or payments that appear in CTHRU should be directed to the specific department that issued the payment(s).​

Vendor ID

An alpha numeric code that identifies a vendor in the Commonwealth’s accounting system.

Z

Zip code

A number that identifies a particular postal delivery area in the U.S.  The zip code is the vendor’s location.

COMPTROLLER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

Andrew W. Maylor

1 Ashburton Place, 9th Floor, Boston MA 02108

comptroller.info@mass.gov

For your protection, please do not email personal information (e.g. Social Security Number, Bank Account Number, Passwords).

For assistance, please call us at

617-727-5000

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