Computer meltdown baffles the experts

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Indy Politics

Computer engineers were at a loss last night to explain why the Government had been hit by arguably the worst electronic meltdown in the history of Whitehall.

Computer engineers were at a loss last night to explain why the Government had been hit by arguably the worst electronic meltdown in the history of Whitehall.

Senior sources said that the specialist troubleshooters called in to deal with the crisis at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had failed to "get to the bottom" of the problem which blanked out up to 40,000 desktop screens.

While it has been established that the crash was provoked by an attempt to upgrade the screens, there was still no precise idea why it happened.

As the Government tried to play down the impact of the problems, Conservatives and union leaders demanded an immediate inquiry into a crash that affected one of the country's biggest IT networks.

Technicians were still struggling yesterday to fix the problem which began on Monday and which affected screens at more than 1,000 DWP offices.

The disruption follows a number of technical failures at the DWP and other government departments - notably the Child Support Agency. The American contractor EDS is responsible for IT networks at both those departments.

The DWP said the crash had only affected new claimants and people whose benefits were being amended.

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