Maine EBT Standards Document
VII. Computer Operations Considerations:
Other sections of this document address essential standards for business transactions, data formats and electronic transmission of data. This section deals with the operational issues (both manual and automated) that, while primarily technical in nature, can have a significant effect on the efficiency and consistency of business processes. The ME-EBT Working Group identified the following principles for computer operations:
Processing of data must be reliable, predictable, accurate and efficient.
Transaction processing must be equitable and verifiable.
Trading partners’ daily operational schedules should be accommodated.
The entire process must be designed to detect and report errors without intervention.
There must be a clear assignment of responsibility.
The complete process occurs over a 24 hour period and includes:
Daily input and validation of CES input transactions (Enrollments, etc.)
T & D billing cycle (“T&D Company CIS”)
ISO New England load estimating and reporting
Daily output to the CES (Successful Enrollments, Usage and Billing, Customer Payments, Errors, Load Settlement if requested, etc.).
Computer operations issues have been categorized into the following topics: scheduling, file handling, error handling and recovery.
Schedule: Each trading partner will have daily schedules that should be accommodated to the extent possible. Operating schedules cannot be standardized because of differences in daily transaction volumes, processing techniques, technology, etc. At the same time, there should be a baseline schedule that all trading partners can rely on that does not place an undue burden on any trading partner. Each T&D will publish their daily operation schedule as a guideline to CESs. The schedule should include cycle reading dates, processing “work days” and “no work” days (i.e., holidays, weekends).
The ME-EBT Working Group reviewed the daily computer operation schedules of the T&Ds in order to develop a baseline schedule. The Working Group proposed a target schedule pertaining to a normal business day. As testing provides more information on the unknowns of volume and processes, the schedule will be revisited. We will make the effort to be consistent on key cut-off times across utilities. The proposed schedule target is as follows:
CES transactions must be ready for T&D processing each work-day, at a time specified in the service agreement.
Transactions received on the current business day will be responded to by the end of the next business day.
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