Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

E-Licensing system weathers DMP rush

Albany — DEC’s fragile E-licensing system has apparently survived a late rush by deer hunters to apply for Deer Management Permits.

While complaints among license-selling agents continue over the system’s cumbersome sales process, DEC officials said the system withstood the last-minute sales volume boost by hunters applying for the antlerless deer tag, which carry an Oct. 1 deadline.

“We had very high sales the few days prior to Oct. 1, and deer management permit (sales) are nearly the same as last year,” DEC assistant director of fish, wildlife and marine resources Doug Stang said. “The system stayed up and running and performed relatively well during the peak sales period.”

That said, the new E-licensing system continues to receive critical reviews from license-selling agents, although most say it has improved from the opening of hunting license sales in August. The problems then were so widespread DEC urged hunters to hold off on purchasing hunting licenses to allow for many system issues to be resolved.

During the recent sales rush to secure DMPs, Stang said some agents experienced issues with printing tags, “but most did not. And once we found out about a license sales agent who was having difficulties we resolved those issues in less than a day – sometimes within the hour.”

Most license-selling agents, however, maintain that the system is too time-consuming, especially for retailers who have to take the time to sell the licenses but also for town clerks who are busy with other duties when a sportsman or woman wants to purchase a license.

DEC officials agree the system as it stands now needs to be streamlined.

“The sales process remains cumbersome, particularly to those who sold licenses on the previous system, and we are currently working to develop a more streamlined sales process,” Stang said in an email.

He said DEC staff is working with the contractor (Accela) to minimize the number of screens an agent or online license buyer must click through “while still collecting the pertinent information to make sure we have correct contact information, education history for hunters and bowhunters, and allow for updates to that information.”
 

Stang said officials are in the early stages of that redesign of the system, so it’s difficult to pinpoint a timeline for completion.

The new E-licensing system is a product of the state’s overall Shared Services Initiative under which all state licenses will be handled. It was the brainchild of former Gov. David Paterson and not a DEC proposal.

But the problems with the system were quickly discovered since DEC’s sporting licenses are so numerous and varied.

Although the system problems never reached an official “crash” designation during periods of high sales, it was slow enough that DEC officials labeled it as not meeting “established performance standards.”

That triggered a major effort by a team of IT experts from IBM, Oracle and the New York State Office of Information Technology to evaluate the system’s performance and make recommendations to improve it.

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