States’ IT issues are not over after lengthy shutdown

STATES of Guernsey IT problems are set to persist for the rest of the week, although some services went back online yesterday after a lengthy shutdown.

The main gov.gg website was back online yesterday afternoon. (31519032)
The main gov.gg website was back online yesterday afternoon. (31519032)

An air conditioning problem that caused servers to overheat on Friday morning has led to widespread issues that has affected nearly all States departments, as well as hospitals, schools, parish websites and leisure services.

Even the Beau Sejour cafe had to shut as it was impossible for staff to scan barcodes.

A States spokesman said the IT systems would likely continue to have intermittent issues for much of this week after the air conditioning issue.

‘This failure caused the temperature to quickly rise, resulting in the server going into “preservation mode” to ensure data was protected,’ he said.

‘While the forced shutdown successfully protected the server itself and safeguarded all data held by the States of Guernsey, it did cause significant performance issues across the States IT network.’

Engineers working over the weekend prioritised critical systems within health and social care and the blue light services to ensure they remained operational.

The main States website, gov.gg, came back online just after 1pm yesterday and engineers were checking the various services that it provides, including payments.

Other services came back online late in the afternoon.

The States schools’ internet and email access was reestablished, and Guernsey Tickets and Beau Sejour website’s came back online.

However the Revenue Service’s online services were still down at the end of Monday, meaning islanders could not file their returns. Historically the tax deadline has been the end of November, but the 2021 return deadline is not until February 2023.

Some of the States systems causing most concern over the weekend were fixed earlier, including those used by Social Security to make benefit payments meaning payments will be made as normal this week.

States staff were now also able to assess wage slips submitted by islanders who were waiting for an income support top-up payment, which was delayed on Friday.

The failure has sparked questions about Agilisys, which began a 10-year technology partnership with the States in 2019.

The £200m. contract included an aim to deliver more resilient, stable and secure IT services.

The Scrutiny Management Committee is currently in the process of undertaking a review into Agilisys, which started earlier this autumn. This will include looking at the availability of systems.

Committee president Deputy Yvonne Burford said the project was complex and it could take up to a year to complete.

The review will focus on whether the project has been value for money and will evaluate the management of the transition of the in-house IT service to Agilisys.

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