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Gordon Brown's secret life as network admin

10 Downing Street systems crash without him

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Gordon Brown is known as a bit of a micro-manager, but who knew he also took so much personal responsibility for keeping Downing Street IT systems up and running?

How else to explain why his email account is still out of action and the e-petitions service - suggested as an alternative way to talk to him - is out of action during the recess until 1 September when he gets back from his hols.

Brown's email has been busted since 23 June. Downing Street press flacks told the Reg in mid-July that it would be fixed within a week, but it wasn't and it isn't.

The "Email the Prime Minister" page of number10.gov.uk still carries the message:

This service has been temporarily suspended for maintenance work. Don't worry, we are still accepting faxes and letters, and you can still let us know your opinions via an epetition or on our new Twitter service.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We hope to be back up and running in a few days.

23 June 2008

And thanks to Register reader Faye who spotted that the epetitions site is also taking a month off. The site is closed to new petitions until 1 September when Brown returns from his hols. The Digital Comms team, we are told, will use the time to "deal more effectively with the large number of submissions that have built up due to the huge popularity of the service".

But fear not - you can still search and sign petitions.

The most signed petition is still asking the Prime Minister "to Allow the Red Arrows to Fly at the 2012 Olympics" - despite a clear response that the PM has not banned the Red Arrows from flying anywhere, and that the Olympics organisers have yet to make any decision on who will perform at the opening ceremony in four years' time. ®

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