Computer fault stops legal-aid money (New Zealand) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread Link New Zealand News from The Press - Friday, October 22, 1999

Computer fault stops legal-aid money

by Yvonne Martin

The Legal Services Board, which processes claims for legal aid, is the latest Government service to be stung by computer glitches.

A problem with the board's two-year-old, $1.6 million computer system temporarily stopped legal-aid payments to lawyers this month.

The board sent letters to 2400 lawyers nationally explaining why cheque payments were frozen for several weeks.

The board's corporate support manager Barry Holt said the system had been unable to cope with a large file that had developed within its database.

"The file grew alarmingly (with work taken over from the Courts Department) and suddenly we had a crash," he said.

"The IT providers couldn't identify what the problem was and we lost 2800 production hours.

"Naturally, the Legal Services Board is not happy."

It has asked its IT company, Eagle Technology Group, for a written explanation. The fault had to be fixed remotely by experts in the United States.

"Staff throughout the country are under enormous pressure and when you have a relatively new system ... I am asking for some answers," Mr Holt said.

He said no records were lost in the crash, but the problem caused a time-consuming backlog of work.

The Government is reviewing public-sector information technology projects to see how they compare with similar projects in the private sector and overseas.

State IT projects that have soured include:

The police Incis computer project which is two years behind schedule, costing about $30m more than budgeted and the subject of legal action between the Government and computer giant IBM.

Land Information New Zealand's land title computerisation project, which is late and $35m over budget.

A National Library document information system which collapsed after $8.5m was invested. The library recouped $5.2m after arbitration.

-- Homer Beanfang (, October 21, 1999


I bet they'll sue.

-- JIT (, October 21, 1999.

Quite obviously none of the remediation has been tested in New Zealand. There have only been fifty billion IT type articles explaining and also warning all remediation effort which includes whole new programs as the "remediation" have to be tested. I'll bet very few anywhere have tested. "Plug N Play" being the stretch of their attention span.

-- Paula (, October 21, 1999.

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