Category: How To

Resolving Failed TRV Document Processing

From time to time, TariffShark may struggle to process a Tariff Record Version (TRV) document. When a TRV has failed document processing, the Failed Processing tab on the Dashboard will appear pinkish.

The rightmost column, titled Action in the image above, contains two buttons, Requeue and View, that can help you to complete processing of the TRV document.

Requeue Button

Click the Requeue button to resubmit the TRV for document processing. This action essentially moves the TRV from the Dashboard’s Failed Processing tab over to its Processing Queue tab. If TariffShark is still unable to process the TRV’s content, it will turn up on the Failed Processing tab once again. If this happens, try the View button (described below).

View Button

Click the View button to open the marked content of the TRV that failed processing. The document will open in Microsoft Word.

TariffShark is often unable to process documents that contain section breaks. If your document contains section breaks, follow these steps to resolve:

  1. Using Microsoft Word, find and remove all section breaks (often times it’s best to replace them with page breaks).
  2. Save the document to your computer or network.
  3. Use the Build Content command for the TRV in TariffShark to import the document that you saved in the prior step.

If TariffShark still cannot process the document, let the TariffShark Support team help. If the TRV’s content isn’t confidential, please share the document with Support. To do so, click the View button in TariffShark’s Dashboard, save the document, and send it to support.

How to Prepare a Withdrawal Filing

After submitting an eTariff filing and before FERC takes action on it, you may withdraw the entire proceeding by submitting a withdrawal-type filing. In this article I will describe the characteristics a withdrawal-type filing and outline the steps to take in TariffShark in order to prepare one.

Withdrawal-Type Filing Characteristics

The purpose of a withdrawal-type filing is to withdraw an entire proceeding before FERC has taken action on it. In order to indicate to the Commission which proceeding is being withdrawn, a withdrawal-type filing must be associated with an earlier, already-submitted eTariff filing. Also, a withdrawal-type filing does not propose changes to tariff language, therefore, it will never contain Tariff Record Versions or FTRVs. Finally, like all other eTariff filing types, a withdrawal-type filing must include a Transmittal Letter which describes the nature of the submittal.

How to Prepare a Withdrawal-Type Filing

Follow the steps below to prepare a withdrawal-type filing. The list is intentionally brief and does not go into great detail. If you have questions about the procedure, contact TariffShark Support.

  1. Create a withdrawal-type filing. The type of filing code to use depends on the FERC Program to which your company belongs. At the time of this writing, these are the FERC Programs and withdrawal-type filing codes.

    Federal Power Act Electric (Market Based Rate) Public Utilities

    100 Withdraw Entire Proceeding

    Federal Power Act Electric (Traditional Cost of Service and Market Based Rates) Public Utilities

    90 Withdraw Entire Proceeding
    1060 Non-Jurisdictional Withdraw

    NGA Gas Pipelines

    590 Withdraw

    NGPA 311 Gas Pipelines

    810 Withdrawal of entire filing

    Oil Pipelines

    900 Withdraw of Pending/Non-effective Tariff

    Power Administrations

    110 Withdraw Non-Jurisdictional Filings
    470 Withdraw (All PMA EFs)

  1. On the Update Filing window, enter the Validation Email address. For the Associated Filing field, click the ellipsis button and select the already-submitted filing you propose to withdraw.
  1. On the Filing Details window, on the FERC Attachments tab, update the Transmittal Letter attachment by uploading your transmittal letter.

At this point, the filing is ready to go. You may wish to Validate it in TariffShark before downloading the XML and submitting the filing.

Reducing the Size of a TariffShark Database

TariffShark databases tend to grow larger and larger over time.  If you think about it, this makes perfect sense.  Each time an eTariff filing is made, Tariff Record Versions are added as are the filing’s FERC Attachments.  Data is constantly being added to a TariffShark database and seldom deleted.

As the size of a database grows, so does the cost of maintaining it.  The files that comprise the database require more space on disk and its backups run longer and also require more storage.  Therefore, it may be wise to take any steps available to reduce database size.  In a TariffShark database, there are opportunities for size reduction, which by and large come from tables in the database that store transient or audit data.

  1. Audit – All interactions between a TariffShark client and the application server are written to an audit table.  The audit table can grow quite large over time.  Records in the audit table are seldom if ever needed, but can be helpful when tracking down software issues.  In any event, data in the audit table older than a few weeks provides no value.
  2. TRV Processing Queue – The Tariff Record Version processing queue is used to track and manage the processing of all TRV documents.  This is truly transient data in that after a TRV document is processed successfully, the queue data is no longer needed.
  3. Binary Data – TariffShark stores binary data (Word documents and PDFs, for example) separately from other TariffShark data and seldom deletes table rows that are no longer needed.  Over time, unneeded documents can take up quite a bit of space in the database.
Each of these database areas can be cleaned up and, as a result, database size reduced by running a separate administrative stored procedure that ships with TariffShark Hammerhead.  If you would like to learn more about these stored procedures so that you can keep your TariffShark database running efficiently, contact TariffShark Support.

Diagnose Problems Submitting to FERC’s eTariff Sandbox

In an earlier blog article, we described a method for submitting a tariff filing to FERC’s eTariff sandbox, which is helpful for users who don’t have TariffShark Hammerhead.  We also posted a screencast that shows how TariffShark Hammerhead has built-in FERC sandbox submission.  The purpose of this article is to help you diagnose why your computer may not be able to successfully submit a filing to FERC’s eTariff sandbox.

FERC’s eTariff sandbox is an FTP server.  FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol, which provides a means for sending and receiving files over the Internet.  Some organizations have configured their corporate networks to block FTP, which also blocks the FERC eTariff sandbox.  In addition, some desktop computers are configured to run a software firewall.  A software firewall could also be blocking FTP.

When we are asked to diagnose problems sending files to FERC’s eTariff sandbox, we try to isolate the root cause.  One trick is to eliminate as many layers of software as possible, which we do by following this handy guide:

Use Windows command prompt to connect to FERC’s eTariff sandbox
[click to enlarge]

If a user is able to connect to FERC’s eTariff sandbox using the procedure above, then the problem is not one of blocked access and we will continue to dig deeper.

If you have questions about using FERC’s eTariff sandbox or run into problems trying to submit a filing to the sandbox, we’d love to hear from you.  Please comment below or contact TariffShark Support.

Cancelling a Tariff Database (or FERC Tariff Id) in TariffShark Hammerhead

An FAQ article is provided on the TariffShark website that answers the question “How do I cancel an entire Tariff Database?” It answers this question for pre-Hammerhead TariffShark versions in the 1.x range. If you’re running TariffShark Hammerhead and you’d like to know how to cancel a Tariff Database, keep reading.

In order to cancel an entire Tariff Database, you must submit a CANCEL-type Filing. At time of this writing, the following filing types are classified as CANCEL-type Filings:

Follow these steps in TariffShark Hammerhead to prepare a CANCEL-type Filing:

  1. Create a cancellation-type Filing and supply the standard Filing metadata. There are no special requirements regarding TariffShark’s Filing data fields.
  2. Create a TRV for one of the Tariff Records in the Tariff Database and place it into the Filing created in the prior step. For the Proposed Effective, enter the date on which you wish to cancel the Tariff Database. It doesn’t much matter under which Tariff Record the TRV is created.
  3. From an eTariff validation perspective, you may or may not provide content for the TRV created in the prior step. However, from an industry regulations perspective, content may be required.
  4. Create a transmittal letter and attach it to the Filing as a FERC Attachment in TariffShark. Provide other FERC Attachments as required or desired just as you would for any other eTariff Filing.
  5. Validate the Filing and then generate and download the XML. You’re ready to submit the Filing to FERC.
As always, if you have questions or comments, you may post them below or contact TariffShark Support.

Changing a Filing’s Type After It Has Been Submitted

Several months ago we posted a blog article that described how to change the Filing Type of a Filing, which is helpful for Filings that have not yet been submitted to the Commission.  But, what do you do if you submitted a Filing and FERC has instructed you to submit the Filing again under a different Type of Filing?

The first thing you need to understand is that once a Filing has been submitted to FERC and accepted by FERC, it cannot be changed and submitted again.  This means that in order to “change” the Type of Filing, you actually need to make two additional Filings. The first of these is a Filing to withdraw the incorrect Filing and the second is a Filing with the correct Filing Type.

Preparing a Filing’s Tariff Record Versions’ (TRVs’) marked content and clean content for submission to FERC can take a fair amount of work.  It would be a shame to have to repeat that work simply because a Filing needs to be resubmitted with a different Filing Type.  By following the steps below, the replacement Filing can have all of the same content as the original Filing.  For each TRV in the original Filing…

  1. Open the Filing Details screen for the original Filing.
  2. On the “Tariff Record Versions” tab, select a TRV.
  3. Click the “Download Content” command in the SmartBar.  On the resulting form, download the TRV’s “Marked Document” and save the file somewhere temporarily (such as your desktop).
  4. Create a TRV for the replacement Filing.
    1. We recommend incrementing the Version by 1.  For example, if the TRV in
      the original Filing was Version 2.0.0, use Version 3.0.0 for the new
    2. On the Create Tariff Record Version form, place the new TRV into the replacement Filing.
  5. Open the Filing Details screen for the replacement Filing.
  6. On the “Tariff Record Versions” tab, select the TRV that was created in step 4 above.
  7. Click the “Build Content” command in the SmartBar.
    1. When the Build Content wizard asks “How would you like to build the content?” select the “Import Microsoft Word document” option.
    2. On the wizard next step, when prompted to “Select Microsoft Word file to import:”, select the file saved in step 3 above.
    3. Finish the wizard.
  8. TariffShark will open Microsoft Word with the content of the file selected in step 7b above.  Close Word and save the document when prompted.

Simply repeat this process for every TRV in the original Filing and the TRVs in the replacement Filing will have identical content.

If you have questions about this article, we’d love to hear from you.  Please comment below or contact TariffShark Support.

Updating Effective Priority

What Is Effective Priority?

Originally, FERC created the tariff record Effective Priority field to be a tie breaker for when two versions of the same tariff record were submitted proposing the same effective date (presumably in separate filings, but more on this later).  Should FERC approve both versions, the one with the higher Effective Priority value would be the one considered effective on the effective date.

The Effective Priority field must be populated for every tariff record in an eTariff filing and can have any numeric value between between 1 and roughly 2.1 billion (2,147,483,647 to be exact).  TariffShark provides a default value suitable for most situations.

Though the practice is not specifically supported and is certainly discouraged by FERC staff, some eTariff filers have taken to submitting multiple versions of the same tariff record in the same filing.  The most common reason this is done is to take content changes approved by the Commission on an earlier version of a tariff record and apply those changes to subsequent versions of the same tariff record.  When multiple versions of the same tariff record are included in a filing, each must have a unique Effective Priority value regardless of the effective dates proposed on the records.

TariffShark’s Intelligence

One of the highest priority goals for TariffShark is ease of use.  Users (a) shouldn’t need to understand the complex rules surrounding Effective Priority described above and (b) shouldn’t need to concern themselves with populating a field with an arbitrary number.  To that end, TariffShark is built with the intellligence to understand the rules described above.

For most filings, where Effective Priority doesn’t even come into play, you don’t need to do anything with it in TariffShark.  On the occasions where Effective Priority needs to be populated in order to distinguish multiple versions of the same tariff record, TariffShark calls it to your attention.

While working on your filing in TariffShark, you may see the Set Effective Priority command in the SmartBar.  It shows up only when it’s needed and, for most filing scenarios, a user will never see the command.

Clicking the command opens the Set Effective Priority form, which displays all conflicting versions of the tariff record in Effective Priority sequence.  The form provides the ability to move the tariff record being filed up and down among the other tariff record versions until it is positioned where needed.  TariffShark calculates an appropriate Effective Priority value and saves it.  Users need not enter an arbitrary number between 1 and 2.1 billion.

If the Set Effective Priority command is ever NOT used when needed, the Filing will fail TariffShark’s validations, where a “Solve” link is provided next to the validation error as a shortcut to the Set Effective Priority screen.

If All Else Fails

What if a scenario unfolds for which TariffShark isn’t prepared and the Set Effective Priority command isn’t available?  What if a user wishes to send FERC a specific Effective Priority value rather than allowing TariffShark to compute the value?

TariffShark Hammerhead has a secret (until now) feature that gives users total control over Effective Priority if that is what they want.  On the Update Filed Tariff Record Version screen, the Effective Priority field is displayed in a disabled textbox.  As long as the Filed Tariff Record Version’s (FTRV’s) FERC Response is “Draft”, double-clicking the textbox enables it, thus allowing users to enter an appropriate value.

If you have any questions or comments relating the Effective Priority field, we’d love to hear from you.  Please comment below or
contact Support.