This post was linked to from Johann's twitter earlier today: --LinkRemoved--
What happens on decision days.
From the spike in call volume on decision days- this post is probably a long time coming. Here is a quick explanation on how a bill becomes a law.
I. The systems we use.
For applications, we use two different systems. We use an admissions database (AD), which is tied to our status checker, and we also use a decision letter delivery (DLD) system. The login and passwords are the same.
II. The three step dance
Step One: We usually do decisions in batches. Once we are ready for release, the decisions are loaded into our Admissions Database. The status checker is updated every hour, so those who live and die by the refresh key will know that a decision is forthcoming pretty quickly.
Step Two: The decisions are then transferred to our Decision Letter Delivery system. Depending on the size of the batch, this step can take at least ONE HOUR to clear.
Step Three: E-mail notification that a decision is ready. At this point, a letter should be ready for download through the delivery system.
III. The problems that occur
The most frequently heard problem is that the Decision Letter Delivery system does not recognize a login/password. This is probably because it is uploading the various letters to get ready for download. Once again, it should take at least an hour, you can either try again later, or just wait for the E-mail notification.
I hope this helps.