Feeds

Child Support Agency system hit by new problems

EDS HP SNAFU

Security for virtualized datacentres

Updated The Child Support Agency's (CSA) much-criticised computer system is again struggling this week, with staff unable to access case files because it is running so slowly.

The problems began to emerge on Monday. Callers are being advised to try again later in the week, or being promised a call back when the system is back to normal.

Engineers from HP Enterprise Services, formerly EDS, which built the CS2 system, are currently on site trying to pinpoint the cause.

"The system is not 'down' but we are unable to immediately answer case-specific queries and clients are being asked to call back," a spokesman for the Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission, which oversees the CSA, told The Register.

"Caseworkers remain available to help with general enquiries and maintenance payments have not been affected by this issue."

CS2 was built by EDS in 2003 under a PFI contract worth £456m. It has been widely seen as a disaster, with the National Audit Office and MPs joined in repeated sharp criticisms. The influential Public Accounts Committee labelled it "a turkey from day one".

In 2007 the government announced it would spend a further £300m in an attempt to improve CS2. This week's renewed failures show the system - which handles about half the CSA's case load - remains seriously flawed.

Andrew, a Reg reader who has been affected by this week's problems, said: "This is causing a lot of stress and upset for those of us who are trying to legitimately deal with the CSA and who are now 'on hold' unable to add to information to their cases.

"I'm under a lot of stress, haven't slept for days and have to keep waiting with the millstone of an incorrect calculation around my neck."

The CSA said HP Enterprise Services is working as quickly as possible to identify and fix the latest fault. ®

Update

The Child Maintenance Enforcement Commission said late on Thursday that the system was back to normal.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.