On June 2, 2021, TREC inactivated broker business entity licenses in error. Upon discovery of the error, staff worked to resolve the issue and all licenses were restored by Friday, June 4, 2021. For purposes of full disclosure, we wanted our license holders to know the details of what occurred and what we are doing to avoid any similar incident in the future.
How did this happen?
Every month, TREC runs a process to update system records and inactivate any business entity licenses where the license of the designated broker/officer has expired. When running this process in June, rather than selecting those designated broker/officer whose license had expired, all designated broker/officer licenses were inadvertently selected. This resulted in all business entity licenses being inactivated. This was a human error with significant consequences for our license holders.
How did it get fixed?
Ultimately, the vendor that manages our licensing database created a process that “unwound” the mistake. This took about a day to write and test before we were able to run the process to correct the mistake. Prior to running it, our licensing staff dedicated their time to manually correct errors one by one. Some worked long into the night to correct as many licenses as possible, as fast as possible.
The website also wasn’t working that day. What happened?
Due to this error, the traffic on our website increased to ten times what it normally handles. This caused much of our website to fail. All is working normally again now.
How can we be sure it doesn’t happen again?
Our licensing database is nearing the end of life and many of the processes are manual. Ultimately, TREC is working towards building a new licensing database that will provide workflow processes that minimize the need for manual processes to alleviate human errors. In addition, this database will provide more self-service options on our website and greater autonomy for our license holders. This new database should be complete by the end of 2023. In the meantime, TREC has established manual safeguards to ensure against single points of failure, such as the one that recently occurred. We do expect, however, further challenges with the older system. The agency staff is prepared to address them as they may arise.
Please accept our apology for the distress and frustration this caused so many. The staff understands the breadth of this error and worked diligently to right this wrong. We appreciate your patience and flexibility in the process.