Wednesday, May 27, 2009

DHS CSAT FAQ Update 05-22-09

Long time readers of this blog will remember that it used to be common place to see a weekly review of changes and updates that DHS made to their very extensive CSAT FAQ web page. Those blogs came to a screeching halt in the middle of last November, because DHS essentially stopped updating and reviewing their FAQ. Less than a hand full of updates had been made between the middle of November and the middle of last week. That dramatically changed last week when DHS added the FAQ for the new SSP page. Then last Friday an additional 174 FAQ were ‘Last Modified’ on May 22nd. There is no way that I would even attempt review or even list all of the affected FAQ. Even listing the categories would probably be too extensive an exercise since there were 23 FAQ categories affected. What I have had a chance to do is skim over the answers looking for some interesting anomalies, and I certainly have found some. A large number of the FAQ appear to be related to the Top Screen. While the Top Screen User’s Manual was updated, the update was relatively minor. That change certainly did not necessitate a systematic review of Top Screen FAQ. That leads me to believe that DHS is just catching up on their scheduled reviews that they had missed while working on other projects (like maybe the SSP set-up). I also think that the ‘Last Modified’ explanation of the date is probably misleading. I have found at least a couple of the FAQ answers that were pretty obviously not reviewed, much less ‘modified’. For example, the answer to question #1265 still explains that the: “SVA and SSP templates are not yet finalized”. That hasn’t been correct for the SVA since last summer and changed for the SSP last week. I have long said that the DHS FAQ page is one of the most extensive that I have ever seen. This has its good points as well as its draw backs. The biggest drawback is that the large size makes it difficult to ensure that the information is complete and up to date. A system that is in a relative state of flux like the CSAT site will be even more difficult to up date. I don’t envy the Help Desk team this job especially when there are nitpickers like me looking over their shoulder.

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