MoJ update on the ongoing IT problems

January 23, 2019

The Ministry of Justice has issued an update on the network problems currently being encountered by users, primarily in the criminal courts. 

It confirms that the problems are not caused by any cyberattack and that there has been no loss of data. The Ministry is also keen to point out that the problems lie with the existing network infrastructure not the new Common Platform system still in development.

The statement in full is reproduced below

“During the past week we have experienced major IT network issues. We apologise to those who have been affected. We know this is unacceptable and how deeply frustrating this has been for our staff and users. 

Network access has been restored to a large number of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) sites today. The main suppliers of the affected technology, including Atos and Microsoft, are working hard to restore access for the remaining sites and users. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to resolve the situation and we will continue to do so until full service is restored.

The current situation 

Changes made overnight have improved the service at a significant number of our sites, and currently: 

  • email and internet access is working across the estate via Wi-Fi and on mobile devices 
  • the prison estate is unaffected and contingency plans are in place in the National Probation Service to mitigate impacts 
  • reformed online services such as divorce and probate have continued to work throughout the disruption 
  • hearings are continuing to progress in our courts (though we appreciate the extra burden placed on court users still without network access) 
  • 75 per cent of court staff are back on working IT systems 

Criminal Justice secure email system (CJSM) 

The separate and unrelated issue last week affecting 12.5 per cent of users of the Criminal Justice secure email system (CJSM) has now been resolved. 

All users can currently send and receive secure emails and we have restored the email history of all inboxes affected. 

Why has this happened? 

The network disruption initially affected devices connecting to the main MoJ network. This network is also used by HMCTS and other MoJ agencies and a number of arms-length bodies. 

Together with our suppliers Atos and Microsoft, we are working hard to identify the root cause of the issues. 

It is not the result of a cyber attack and there has been no loss of data. 

The network issues are unrelated to our £1 billion modernisation of the courts system. The disruption in recent days has been to the existing Ministry of Justice network. The Common Platform system is still in testing phase so, contrary to earlier reports, has not been affected. 

Keeping up-to-date 

Teams will continue to work around the clock to resolve the remaining issues. We will continue to update this news story with progress made.” 

You can read the original source on the MoJ website.