Major IT issues at MoJ resolved
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has confirmed that “all sites are operational with IT network connectivity restored” after serious issues with its systems last week.
The MOJ said on Friday (January 25) that it is continuing to “carefully monitor the situation and will work with individual users where any issues arise”.
It is also working with its main suppliers Atos and Microsoft to ensure ongoing stability across the network.
But it will take time for all aspects of the service to fully return to normal, due to a backlog of work created by the disruption and “teams across the estate” are working hard to resolve this backlog as quickly as possible.
The MOJ stressed that the disruption was “not the result of a cyber-attack and there has been no loss of data”.
And it said it had “not led to detaining defendants or freeing criminals unlawfully”.
However, it accepted that the issues were “unacceptable” and “deeply frustrating” for staff and users.
Additionally, the Common Platform system – which is replacing the HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) and Crown Prosecution Service case management systems with a single platform providing access to all case ‘efficiently and effectively’ – is “still in testing phase so, contrary to earlier reports, has not been affected”.
The IT systems disruption reportedly caused courts to not be informed when defendants were due to appear and court files could not be accessed, leading to prosecutions being delayed; wireless connections to went down leaving staff unable to send emails, and jurors could not be enrolled, nor barristers register for payments.
The MoJ said on Thursday (January 24) that it was working with its main suppliers Atos and Microsoft to restore access to all sites.
It added that most MoJ staff had access to the IT systems; access has been restored to a further 309 MoJ sites; and access to all HMCTS sites were expected to be restored by this morning and access to all National Probation Service sites is hoped to be restored by the end of today.
Email and internet access was working across the estate via wi-fi and on mobile devices; the prison estate is unaffected; reformed online services such as divorce and probate have continued to work throughout the disruption; and hearings are continuing to progress in our courts.
But there has been “an extra burden placed on court users still without network access”, said the MoJ.
A week earlier, an unrelated issue affected 12.5 per cent of users of the criminal justice secure email system (CJSM), but this has now been resolved.
This means that all users “can currently send and receive secure emails and we have restored the email history of all inboxes affected”, said the MoJ.