City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On February 8, the Austin Parks & Recreation Department experienced a failure of its vendor’s online registration system just prior to Nature and Adventure Camp registration. Staff was immediately in contact with the vendor requesting support for the system failure, as well as inquiring about options for the public trying to register. After waiting for the vendor to troubleshoot the issue, PARD decided to suspend registration and re-open them the following weekend.
Available spots for Nature and Adventure Camps will be displayed on Friday, February 14 at noon. Few availabilities remain as a number of registrants were able to complete the process on February 8. Waitlist options will be available.
When registrations were halted, numerous registrants completed their camp registration, while several others were unable to. Those in the queuing system maintained their position relative to the thousands of other registrants. While the long delay and system performance were unacceptable, those who were able to register reflected their position “in line” for the available spots.
Since Saturday, the Department has briefed Mayor and Council on the registration issues, as well as how PARD plans to proceed with other camp registrations. PARD has been in regular contact with the registration system’s vendor to work through performance issues and ensure successful registration for Cultural Arts, Therapeutic, and Community Recreation Summer Camps.
The Department apologizes to registrants for the unacceptable performance of the registration system. PARD will continue working to ensure proper system performance for future registration periods.
Questions and Answers Regarding Nature and Adventure Camp Registration
- If I got through registration this past Saturday, will I have to re-register again? No, the registration stands.
- Will additional camp sessions be added? No, while the performance of the registration system was unacceptable, many enrollees were still able to complete the process despite waiting for nearly two hours.
- Why not open more camp sessions? PARD’s programming is limited by available resources. The Department provides the maximum amount of camp sessions possible with existing staff and funding resources.
- How many spots are still available for Nature & Adventure Camps? A large number of Nature and Adventure Camp spots were filled on February 8, despite the registration system issues. Remaining spots will be displayed on Friday, February 14 at noon.
- Why was the City not prepared for this problem? PARD works year-round with its vendor to prepare for major registration periods. Staff conducted all necessary pre-registration preparations and confirmed readiness for registration. PARD registration team members were on-site during the registration process. PARD brought the system error to the vendor’s attention immediately. Since that time, PARD has kept the vendor accountable for troubleshooting their system and reporting progress/analysis. PARD agrees the system’s failure is unacceptable and is working to ensure it does not happen again.