15 govt websites down after failed IT upgrade

Updated 12pm Tuesday: Parliament website suffers outage Tuesday morning; MED says Personal Property Securities Register closed due to Monday's outage

Fifteen government websites - including Companies Office, Patents Office and Consumer Affairs - are down following a failed IT upgrade on Saturday.

A notice on the Ministry of Economic Development website says the outage occured during preparation work to upgrade the servers hosting the websites. It originally contained notice of 14 websites, but an additional website Business Data has been added (see list below).

The notice advises the websites will be unavailable until at least midday Wednesday September 28. It suggests a variety of alternative ways for people to access the services.

The websites are:

  • business.govt
  • Companies Office
  • Ministry of Consumer Affairs
  • Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR)
  • G2B
  • Government Procurement Solutions
  • Insolvency and Trustee Service
  • Intellectual Property Office (IPONZ)
  • Motor Vehicle Traders Register
  • New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals
  • Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR)
  • Radio Spectrum Management
  • Societies and Trusts
  • VolunteerNet
  • Business Data

MED spokesperson Alastair Stewart says the reason for the delay in restoring the websites is that it will involve "rebuilding server systems". New equipment had been ordered to replace the servers. In May an outage of the Companies Office website was put down to a hardware issue.

"The maintenance of our business services websites and registries is contracted to Foster Moore. We own the affected IT hardware," he says, via email.

IT lawyer Rick Shera says of all the website outages, the one that is most concerning is the Personal Property Securities Register as those wanting to lend money to a business can't check to see what securities the company has given to another financier. A freephone enquiry number is supplied but the Register is closed until the website is up and running again.

"The Registrar has temporarily suspended access to the Personal Property Securities Register under section 138 of the Personal Property Securities Act. As soon as the Register is available again, customers should register their security interests and conduct any searches they need to," says Stewart, via email.

"We cannot access the register, so are unable to provide financing statements over the phone."

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused and are working hard to restore our services."

Parliament's website experienced a brief outage [on Tuesday] morning at about 8:30am. The cause is still to be ascertained. "The event caused our backup server to come on line and within a few minutes the website was up again," says Geoff Thorn, general manager at the Parliamentary Service.

When Computerworld first inquired, Parliament's receptionist said "I don't know about the website, but there's been trouble with the phones this morning." Thorn says the phone fault was unrelated to the website interruption and the Parliamentary service is currently looking into the cause of both."

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Tags server failureMEDoutage

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