Software Upgrade knocks out UK Government Network

By | November 29, 2004

A routine computer software upgrade has crashed 80 percent of UK government PCs at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on Friday.

Staff at the DWP found that they were unable to use their desktop computer after a number of technical glitches knocked out 80,000 of the department’s 100,000 terminals.

“We had a problem with an upgrade to the network of computers on people´s desks,” said Alexis Cleveland, chief executive of the DWP, to Manchester Online. “A small change went wrong and that meant 80 per cent of the network was not able to link to the benefits system.”

The main suppliers, EDS and Microsoft were to blame.

Microsoft said that the issue has been resolved, but as well as EDS, was unable to provide the reason that caused the problem. “We worked closely with our partners to help rectify the situation and to support the DWP.” said Microsoft spokesperson.

Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson has ordered an inquiry into the role of both EDS and Microsoft.

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