Feeds

Child Support Agency system hit by new problems

EDS HP SNAFU

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.