Fix Means Benefits Payments Will Be Made....
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Central Bedfordshire Council Computer Problems

Posted on February 19, 2010

Fix Means Benefits Payments Will Be Made

This article was published in February 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Central BedfordshireCentral Bedfordshire Council is continuing to restore its IT systems after a major failure overnight on Monday affected many of its routine applications. It is now unlikely many systems will be restored until the middle of next week.

There is some early good news though - staff have managed to ensure that payments that were due to our benefits customers next week will now be made only a day late. Revenues and benefits and ICT staff found a “quick fix” which enabled them to access the necessary database and make these much needed payments. This included calling staff on leave for their assistance - including contacting one enjoying herself at Centre Parcs!

However other payments such as those to businesses and customers of adult social care may be delayed while systems are being restored. If receiving an adult social care payment would cause a customer difficulties they should contact 0300 300 6383.

At present Central Bedfordshire's website remains offline but a temporary site has been set up to keep local people informed of progress on restoring services. This can be accessed at:

Telephone lines into the council's contact centre are also limited and customers should either call staff directly if they have a direct dial number or call the contact centre only in an emergency.

Email has now been restored but a queue of over 25,000 emails, stored since Tuesday, is now being dealt with and the service is intermittent. Customers are asked to call rather than email if at all possible.

Cllr Maurice Jones, Corporate Resources Portfolio Holder, said: “Our main priority is to ensure that our financial systems are restored so that customers, businesses and carers receive the payments they are expecting. Our benefits fix means that some of the most vulnerable people in our community will now get their benefits and rent paid only a day late.

“We are taking this problem very seriously but I want to stress that our IT system has been put together in line with nationally accepted best practice and to have such a major failure is a one in a million event. This is a hardware failure and has not been caused by a computer virus and no personal data has been under threat.”

Central Bedfordshire has set up an online blog to keep the public informed of developments

Source: Central Bedfordshire News Release, 19th February 2010

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