TRACS Best Practice Guidelines and FAQs
TRACS Access Procedures and FAQs
1. Who should access TRACS?
TRACS access is provided to federal grant managers and non-federal grant recipients to create, submit, and manage grant information to meet performance reporting requirements. This includes grantors and grantees responsible for inputting or managing WSFR grant program projects and performance data, especially state wildlife agency coordinators, program specialists, project leaders, and WSFR grant specialists.
Each user’s access is limited based on their assigned group(s) and permissions. All users must register for an account and be approved by their organization’s user administrator.
Per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Agency Directors: State and insular area grant recipients (does not include sub-recipients or contractors) are responsible for data entry into TRACS.
Some applicants may be exempted from entering their grant and project statement information in TRACS. However, the applicant will still be required to submit their grant and project statement information in a TRACS-friendly format, since the awarding agency will enter this information on their behalf.
2. Who approves and manages TRACS users?
Each state/territory agency and WSFR region has one or more assigned User Administrator(s) appointed by their manager/director. The User Administrator is responsible for all user management functions for their agency or office, including approving access requests, managing groups, and updating their users’ roles and permissions, including disabling access for users who leave the position/organization or are inactive for 60 days in TRACS.
To learn more, visit the TRACS User Management Procedures and FAQs page.
4. How do users register for TRACS access?
All users must register for an individual account and be approved by their organization’s user administrator. If you had a login account for the previous version of TRACS you will still need to register for the new version of TRACS that was released in June of 2020.Individuals who will use the TRACS system must request access by submitting an online registration request from the TRACS login page: https://tracs.fws.gov
a. Non-Federal Users:
i. Select “Sign-in with Login.gov” and follow the steps on the screen to create an account for Login.gov.
ii. Once a Login.gov account is created, the TRACS Registration page will open. Select “Register for access.” Follow the on-screen steps to complete your user profile, choose your roles and responsibilities, and accept the System Rules of Behavior. Next, click “Submit Request.” For more instructions, visit the TRACS Registration for Non-Federal Users page.
b. Federal Users:
i. Select “Sign-in with DOI Login (PIV)”, click the “Sign in with PIV Card” link and enter your PIN (if prompted).
ii. The TRACS Registration page will open. Click “Register for access” and follow the on-screen steps to complete your user profile, choose your roles and responsibilities, and accept the System Rules of Behavior. Next, click “Submit Request.” For more instructions, visit the TRACS Registration for Federal Users page.
NOTE: TRACS User Administrators are responsible for verifying the accuracy and validity of user requests prior to approval. The User Administrator is informed of new user requests via email and is responsible for approving or denying access.
5. What is a role?
A role is the permission associated with a particular user function or operations. TRACS defines the following roles:
|User Administrator||Responsible for all user management functions for their agency or office. Each state/territory agency and regional office has one or more assigned User Administrator(s) are appointed by their director or agency/division head.|
|Data Editor||Responsible for entry of specific data elements grant proposals, project statements, and performance reports and inventory data (facilities and real property records) within their assigned group and initiate workflow actions. This role can be assigned to either non-federal or federal users.|
|Non-Federal Approver||Responsible for non-federal approval functions in the workflow and submission to Federal approval.|
|Federal Approver||Responsible for Federal approval functions in the workflow.|
|View Only||Limited View Only access to TRACS, including reports.|
In addition to roles, end-users are authorized to act upon specific data elements in the system. Roles can apply to following data elements:
|Grant Proposal||Create, manage, review, and approve the administrative and mandatory components of grant proposals, performance reports, attachments, spatial data, etc.|
|Federal Funding Source||Award information from FBMS can only be associated with a Project Statement by the WSFR grant specialist.|
|TRACS User (User Administrator)||Includes user profiles, roles, groups, permissions, etc.|
|Facilities||Create, adjust, management, approve and monitor facility records pertaining to acquisition or disposal actions which serve a grant purpose and have a Federal nexus.|
|Real Property||Create, adjust, management, approve and monitor real property records pertaining to acquisition or disposal actions which serve a grant purpose and have a Federal nexus.|
6. Who manages groups, users, and roles?
WSFR is responsible for administering Federal end-users. State fish and wildlife agencies are responsible for administering end-users for states and territories. Each WSFR regional office and state fish and wildlife agency will identify one or more individuals who will fulfill the User Administrator function. The TRACS Help Desk can assist offices with the initial registration of User Administrators. Administrators are responsible for approval of access request, role assignment, and account deactivation.
7. Can a TRACS user be assigned to one or more user roles?
Yes, user roles are assigned based on permissions associated with user functions or operations. Roles assigned to a user can be assigned to specific modules within TRACS. For example, a user may have the "data editor" role in order to create and manage grants and records in the performance and inventory modules and the "view role" for license certification and apportionments.
8. How are permissions handled in TRACS?
Permissions are based on a combination of the user account, user role(s) and group permissions. User Administrators are responsible for verifying the accuracy and validity of user requests prior to approval.
9. What is a group?
In addition to selecting a user role, new users identify their organization when registering for access. The organization determines which user administrator receives the registration request. The user administrator assigns a specific group to the user.
A group is a collection of users who are assigned to a specific entity such as a regional office, agency or division. TRACS contains default groups at the regional and state levels. Additional groups can be created by the user administrator to specify different permissions between groups. We recommend that fewer groups be created in order to keep permissions and group participation simple.
Note, group participation allows a user to access only the data for that group. Participation in one group does not automatically ensure participation in another group or sub-group. The User Administrator is responsible for ensuring that users are assigned to all applicable groups to manage their grants in TRACS.
Federal users generally require access to their regional group as well as groups that correspond to the states, agencies, territories, or divisions that they manage.
10. Are group permissions inherited from one group to another?
No, group permissions are explicit in TRACS. Group permissions allow users to access the data within their explicit group(s) only.
11. Who is responsible for setting up the groups in TRACS?
Groups are set up by the TRACS Help Desk based on the unified regions and regional office jurisdictions, as well as the state/territory fish and wildlife agencies that are grant recipients. A group is the agency or the organization responsible for administering and managing a grant.
12. Who is responsible for setting up sub-groups in TRACS?
A TRACS User who has been assigned the User Administrator role, is responsible for setting up the sub-group(s) for the agency/organization based on access needs. Sub-groups comprises of divisions within the agency or organizations that requires separate sub-group access .
13. How are groups assigned to data in TRACS?
The following data elements in TRACS are assigned to a specific group:
Site Record (with all Facilities associated with the site)
Real Property Record
The “data editor” role assigns a specific group to the grant proposal, project statement, site and/or real property record. If the user has access to only one group, the application will default to that group. If the user has access to more than one group, they will need to select the appropriate group. Only users in that group can access that data, based on their role permissions.
Each user is assigned to at least one group. Users assigned to the same group will have explicit permissions to access data for that group based on their role permissions. For example, users with the “Performance Data Editor” role can view and edit any grants assigned to their group. Users who do not have access to the group will not be able to view or edit the data.
Group permissions are explicit in TRACS (permissions are NOT inherited from one group to another). Group permissions allow users to access the data within their explicit group(s) only. The User Administrator is responsible for ensuring that users are assigned to all applicable groups to manage their grants.
14. Some of our biologists will doing all TRACS entry on behalf of a grantee, usually for non-traditional grantees are are not a part of AFWA and have small grant loads. Should these staff request all roles (non-federal and federal) or can they do the front end data entry with only federal roles?
An individual will need all three roles; performance data editor, non-federal approver and federal approver to complete the workflow. Roles are explicit and there is no restriction on which or how many roles can be assigned to an individual.
15. Can I practice in the training environment come before I register for the live TRACS system?
No. Users must have an approved account in the live system before they can access the training environment (login with the same credentials). We periodically import approved users from the live system into the training environment. It is important for user administrators to review approval requests in a timely manner so staff can get into both the live and training environments. To learn more, visit the TRACS Training Environment page.