Manual processes replace PCs after court fire

The on-site IT team worked with Gen-i to replicate the server at the courthouse and had a duplicate running off-site the same day

A fire a fortnight ago at Wellington District Court damaged technology and led to a re-shuffling of Court cases and staff and the subsequent replacement of some PCs.

A Justice spokeswoman says that once access to the building was permitted by the Fire Service, a customer service desk providing limited services was located in the foyer of the Family Court using available natural light and manual processes.

“The PABX was restored to full service the same day. As an interim solution, calls were re-directed to National Office reception until this was completed.,” she says. “Twenty new PCs were [subsequently] installed so that critical services could be restored to all reception areas, Courts and Collections, and a single PC was provided for each team in the building.”

The Ministry’s on-site IT team worked with Gen-i to replicate the server at the courthouse and had a duplicate running off-site the same day. This allowed court staff to log on to the Ministry network from other local sites.

Staff from the Wellington District Court were relocated to Porirua and Lower Hutt District Courts and other Ministry of Justice facilities so routine registry work could be completed. Another key server, used by the courts to manage transcriptions, was also replicated and connected off-site the following day.

The spokeswoman says that all people scheduled to attend the criminal list Court who had not appeared at the time the fire alarm sounded, had their cases reassigned to days in the following week.

The jury trial that had started on the Wednesday morning reconvened in a courtroom in the High Court at 2.30pm the same day and was concluded within the original scheduled time frame.

She says all other effected cases were adjourned. New hearing dates had been allocated and, for the most part, new dates had been able to be allocated in December.

Due to extensive smoke from the fire reaching all floors of the building, hardware on site was not re-started until a professional third-party evaluation of its state and usability was assessed.

“On the advice of the assessor, the more than 200 PCs on site were made available for use by midday on Friday,” she says (the fire was on a Wednesday). “Once we receive the final report from the assessor a decision will be made on the continued use of the hardware possibly affected by the fire.”

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