Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

DECALS licensing under review

Albany – DEC is taking a closer look at its DECALS computer
licensing system that’s costing the department nearly $250,000
annually.

And officials aren’t ruling out a possible return to paper
licenses instead of the computer-generated tags.

“I’m ready to go back to paper (licenses),” DEC_Assistant
Director of Fish,_Wildlife and Marine Resources Doug Stang said at
a recent meeting of the state’s Conservation_Fund Advisory
Board.

Stang’s apparent frustration steams from ongoing challenges with
the DECALS system, highlighted by old printers that apparently
aren’t compatible with the new computers.

“We’ll be ‘de-constructing’ the DECALS system over the next
several months to look at various components of the system,”_Stang
said.

Among DEC’s focus will be a look and license sales and the
printing of tags; revenue recovery from license-issuing agents;
fulfillment of licenses purchased over the Internet or by
telephone; game harvest reporting via telephone and the Internet;
assistance provided to license-issuing agents; the format and
utilization of data generated from the computer licensing systems;
Deer Management Permit selection and issuance; and data storage,
security, backup and recovery.

“We’ll delve into what works, what doesn’t, what needs to be
improved upon, and what changes we would like to see to improve the
license-purchasing experience for hunters, anglers and trappers,”
he said.

The DECALS system and license sales process in general have been
criticized by some sportsmen in the state who feel there aren’t
enough license sales agents in some areas. Too, DEC’s own regional
offices don’t sell licenses, which essentially means the state
doesn’t promote its own products – hunting, fishing and
trapping.

Others, however, say DEC shouldn’t be in the license-sales
business because that would put them in director competition with
license-issuing agents, many of whom use the license sales as a
means of attracting customers to their stores.

One major headache for DEC has been printing of licenses and
tags via the DECALS system.

“The printers are getting old, there seems to be communication
problems with the new Internet-based system and the printers, and
the old printers don’t seem to function well with new computers,”
Stang said

One possible solution to that would be a move to a
“hybrid”_approach between the current automated system and the
pre-printed back tags and harvest tags. That, Stang said, would
eliminate the need for any specialized printers.

Whatever decisions are made, cost is likely to be a major
consideration. With the state facing its biggest budget crisis in
history DEC, like all other state agencies, is looking for
virtually any means of cutting expenses.

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