Documents & Filing Forms
The above form shows the menus available under "Options". Here is a brief description of each option: (Note: Grayed out titles are not yet developed but will be provided during the test period via automatic updates to the software.)
Electronic Submission Software - Installation Manual
Overview of Form 6 Installation and Operation
The FERC Form 6 Submission Software is downloaded from the FERC Forms Server via the Internet. The downloaded file is an installation file. It is used to install the application on your workstation.
Once the software is installed it will appear in your workstation "Start Menu" under a Program Group called FERC Applications. You would start the software by clicking on "Start/FERC Applications/Form 6 Startup".
The first time Form 6 is used, it will ask you to download a copy of your Form 6 Database. This database will be used year after year for Form 6 preparation and filing. Therefore, you should take steps to ensure the database is backed up and saved between filing periods.
Every time you run the Form 6 software, it will check with the FERC Forms Server via Internet to determine if there are any updates to the software. If updates are available, they will be downloaded to your workstation and installed automatically. This keeps everyone's copy of the software in synchronization - and rectifies problems you may find and report to the FERC.
The Form 6 database must be installed on a network drive for sharing among users and to provide backup security for the database. Any number of company workstations can use the database concurrently so that work may be distributed among a number of employees.
Downloading and Installing the Form 6 Submission Software
Click on the "Form 6 Submission System Download" button to obtain the software installation file. The following screen will appear. You may choose "Run this program from its current location" and installation will begin.
If you choose "Save this program to disk", the downloaded installation file can be used to make multiple installations. In this instance, remember where you tell the software to save the file. After download, locate the file with Windows Explorer, place your cursor on the file name, and double-click. This will start the installation process.
When the download of the application installation file begins, you will see a display that indicates progress of the download.
When Installation begins, you will get the following screen. Just click "Yes".
The next screen is a normal part of Microsoft Software installation. There is no need to worry about the licensing agreement - we are authorized to distribute this software free of charge.
When the following screen appears, click on the big button shaped like a computer screen to begin the actual installation. And, leaving the folder name as the default would be helpful when you call for support.
The installation process will create a program group called FERC Applications (see below). You can select a different group name, however, as mentioned earlier, it will be much easier for us to provide support if you allow a standard installation. So, just click "Continue".
Eventually, the installation will finish and you will get the following notification:
The installation will instruct you to restart your computer. This is necessary for proper registration of certain components of the software. Of course, you can click "No", and restart it later if you are busy with other things. However, be sure to restart before you attempt to use the Form 6 Application.
Initial Operation and Setup of the Form 6 Software At this point, installation is complete. You now need to set your communications options (if any) and obtain the initial download of your Form 6 database information. When you first start the software (click on the Start Menu, locate Program Group "FERC Applications", then click on Form 6 Submission"), you will get the following "Splash Screen":
If you are running the software for the first time, the data download screen will appear (see below). This function allows you to download a database of the company or companies for which you file Form 6 information. The next few figures will describe the options on this screen.
Before you proceed, you should click on the "Internet Setup Options" button and set any of the options that apply to your Internet connection. These options, if any, can be obtained from your Network/IT Support Personnel. This is the Internet Setup Options screen:
Referring to the Internet Setup Options screen, leave the options blank unless you receive proxy server information, etc. from your network support personnel. You can leave it blank at first and if the data download and other communications options fail to operate correctly, then go back and insert the necessary information.
The next step is to determine a location for your database. The box titled "Destination for Data or Location of Existing Data" (on the Data Download Screen) shows a proposed default location for your Form 6 Database. It is highly recommended that you choose a directory on your Network for the Form 6 Database! First of all, storing the database on your network permits multiple users of the software to work at the same time. Secondly, you will be protected from losing your work should your workstation have a malfunction. Most network data is backed up every evening.
You might consider giving the network folder a descriptive name, like "FERC Form6 Database". This may persuade people not to delete the folder after you are finished filing for the year. You will need this database for next year's filing activity - so please do NOT delete it!
Once the Database location has been chosen, you click on the "Retrieve Company Listing" button. The software will obtain a list of companies available for download from the FERC Forms Server. If you fail to obtain the listing, then you are experiencing problems communicating with the FERC Forms Server, and you may have to review your Internet Settings.
Select your company name in the "List of Available Companies" box by clicking on it once. Then, Click on the "Begin Download" button. The software will notify you when the download is complete. If you file for more than one company, you may now select a different company for download, and click the "Begin Download Button" again. Continue in this manner until all companies you file for are downloaded. Once database download is complete, you may click on "Finished".
The following Main Screen will appear. You must click on the blue "Company Selected", highlight the company (so it turns blue) in the Company Selection Screen, and pull down the year menu and choose the year.
Once you select the company and year, and click on "Select", you will see the "Page Picker" screen with the various schedules. In the screen below, the user double-clicked on Page 1 under the "Reference Page No." column.
Here is an example of Page 110-113. Essentially, you just "Filling in the Blanks" on those line items that apply to your company. You need to click on "Save" to save the data you have entered.
Set Form 6 DB Location allows you to change the drive and folder of where the software expects to find the Form 6 database. If you want to change the database location, the best way is to copy the entire database to the new location folder. Then, start the software and change to the new location. Then, exit the software and delete the old Form 6 database location.
Data Entry Status scans the database and provides a report on which schedules have had data entered, and which ones have not.
Form 6 Data Cross-Check develops an edit report of discrepancies between schedules where the same totals should appear.
FERC Communications Setup allows you to change Internet Communications values - essentially the same screen that you can use in the initial data download. Only change these entries if you are certain they apply at your company.
Create New Year sets the database up for a new year. For example, if you have completed 1998, to begin entering 1999 data, you would have to click on this item first before 1999 data entry could begin. A little box will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the screen showing progress in setting up the database for a new year. It usually just takes a few seconds. Note: if you are using the software for the FIRST TIME in 2000 for the 1999 submission, you must click on "Create New Year" and have the software generate the database for 1999 before starting 1999 data entry.
Create Fictitious Company, Delete Fictitious Company, and Create/Modify Fictitious Company PIN have to do with creating copy of your company's data for submission to the State. This was a popular item under the Form 1 (which is an electric industry version of Form 6), so we included it here. It may not apply to the Oil Pipeline folks, and if so, it will be removed. If it does apply, expanded instructions on how to use this feature will be provided in the near future.
Freeze/Restrict Data Entry is for situations where a number of people are concurrently working on the same Form 6 Submission. The "Freeze" feature allows the locking of specific schedule pages so that they may be viewed, but not modified. This allows the administrator to prevent changing of schedule pages once they have been completed and printed. The "Restrict" feature prevents viewing of any selected schedule page(s) except by the PIN holder. (The PIN is a unique number that will be issued by the FERC to the primary contact at each company, and is used for filing Form 1 electronically and other administrative actions.)
Create Submission is the process where the Form 6 information (submission) is transmitted to FERC. Upon receipt, you will receive a return email informing you that the submission has been received. The unique company PIN number is necessary to invoke this option.
Other Data Entry or Application Features
Footnoting Footnotes may be entered on any cell in the Form 6. There is no practical limit to the size of a footnote. To footnote a cell, "Right-Click" on the cell. A footnote menu will appear. The footnotes and other text elements of the Form 6 (like Notes to the Financial Statements) contain limited Word Processing capability. This means that you may cut or copy information from a word processing document and insert it into the footnote without losing formatting or the vertical alignment of columns and tabs.
Printing By clicking on the File pull-down menu at the top of the screen, you can invoke the Print Menu. This permits printing of a blank form, selected pages, or the entire Form 6. (Note: This feature will not be immediately fully implemented - but will be added during the test phase via automatic updating of the software).
Program Help and Operations Manual The Help facility is invoked by clicking on the "Help" menu at the top of the screen. Alternately, you can press the F1 key. The Help Facility is in development currently, but will be available soon.
If You Have Problems, Please Read Carefully
You may experience problems downloading your initial database or obtaining the automatic updates mention at the beginning of this document. Either of these problems can usually be traced to your Firewall used to protect your network from outside interference. The software will work OK at most companies. However, if you have a problem with these two issues, your only recourse is to plead with your IT folks to loosen things up a little or make some accommodation.
If you have errors in the software where it quits, gives you some kind of system error, or otherwise acts in an abnormal manner, you can report these problems to FERC and we will try to resolve them. (See below for reporting procedures) If there are bugs in the software, we will fix them, and distribute updates to your software automatically. If you can't receive automatic updates (see #1` above), you will probably have to download and install the software each time there is an update. The software has version numbers which change as we apply corrections or improvements. Also, a cumulative list of improvements and repairs (called Release Notes) is available for viewing on the Form 6 Web Site. This list is updated each time the software version number changes.
Below is an example of the Form6 Folder where the software is installed on a typical workstation:
Notice the file named F6.log. When you send us an email regarding any errors or problems, we must have the F6.log attached to the email. Also, be sure to put the words Form6 in the Subject of the email. If you forget to attach the F6 log file, we will send you a reply mail asking for it. So, it just saves time to send it along in the first place. Of course, your IT people are welcome to review the log file and help diagnose any problems you might have.
Send emails with software problems, Internet problems, or suggestions for improvements to the application to FERC OnLine Support. Be sure to attach the F6.log to your email if you are reporting an error. Please put the words Form6 somewhere in the Subject of your email. This permits the email software at FERC to categorize your email, resulting in a faster response. A sample subject line might read: Subject: Form6 Problem with Updating 114.
If you feel you have a serious problem, call FERC Online Support toll-free at 866-208-3676.