I have to submit some paperwork for the approval of an activity. However, I have already got approval, the paperwork is only necessary to submit the specifics (the date, people involved, and other details which have already been approved) for sign-off.

What is the word (or expression, but preferably a single-word) to describe this kind of action?


I already have approval, so submitting this paperwork is a ____ act.

I already have approval, so the paperwork is just ____.

It's not "futile" as it's still necessary, I'm not "going through the motions" as I really mean it and my heart is in it, so how can I describe this paperwork?


3 Answers 3


You're probably looking for:

just a formality

From The Free Dictionary:

formality 3. An established form, rule, or custom, especially one followed merely for the sake of procedure or decorum.

  • Thank you! That's exactly it - it was so frustrating not being able to think of this.
    – jhabbott
    Feb 11, 2015 at 16:08

You might use pro forma, "for the form". Wiki says:

The term pro forma (Latin for "as a matter of form" or "for the sake of form") is most often used to describe a practice or document that is provided as a courtesy and/or satisfies minimum requirements, conforms to a norm or doctrine, tends to be performed perfunctorily and/or is considered a formality.


Jim's answer is probably the phrase your looking for, however you could also use predetermined.

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