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The re-opening of the 1901 Census site, which crashed as soon as it was launched in early January , has been delayed – yet again.

An announcement on the Public Records Office Web site says that testing is continuing and is taking longer than anticipated.

A statement on the PRO Web site reads: "The testing of the technical enhancements is taking longer than anticipated so the 1901 online service will not be available at designated service centres for a few more weeks. We apologise for the further delays and thank you for your continued patience."

The site was supposed to be up and running again at the beginning of February but this was delayed for a further three weeks to carry out tests. Now, this deadline has been put back.

No one from Qinetiq* – the top technical outfit that built the site – was available for comment at the time of writing.

So we haven’t got a clue when this embarrassment will finally come to an end. ®

* Here’s how Qinetiq describes itself on its Web site. QinetiQ was established on 1 July last year as part of the Public Private Partnership for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA). QinetiQ is one of Europe's largest research organisations, employing approximately 9,000 people, including many leading scientists and internationally acclaimed experts, and has a turnover of approximately £800m. It is currently wholly government-owned, but will ultimately move into the private sector.

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