News story

IT issues across Ministry of Justice: update

IT network access has been restored across the Ministry of Justice estate.

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During the past week we have experienced major IT network issues. We apologise to those who have been affected. We know how deeply frustrating this has been for our staff and people who use and work across the justice system.

As of 25 January, all Ministry of Justice (MoJ) sites are operational with IT network connectivity restored. We are continuing to carefully monitor the situation and will work with individual users where any issues arise.

What happens now?

Work continues with our main suppliers Atos and Microsoft to ensure ongoing stability across the network. We are in contact with MoJ sites across the estate to ensure things are working as they should be.

It will take time for all aspects of the service to fully return to normal, as there is a backlog of work created by the disruption. We are working hard with teams across the estate to resolve this backlog as quickly as possible.

We are extremely grateful to all our staff and users for their patience through this period and we apologise again to those affected by the disruptions.

What caused the IT issues?

The network issues were not the result of a cyber attack and there was no loss of data.

The issues were also unrelated to our £1 billion modernisation of the courts system. The disruption was to the existing MoJ network. The Common Platform system is still in testing phase so was not affected.

Together with our suppliers Atos and Microsoft, we are continuing to work hard to identify the root cause of the issues. The MoJ Permanent Secretary, Sir Richard Heaton, met with the Chief Executive of Atos UK & Ireland to express his disappointment and to agree how we learn from what went wrong and make changes.

What was the impact?

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. The prison estate was unaffected.

Email and internet access continued to work across the estate via Wi-Fi and on mobile devices. Reformed online services such as divorce and probate also continued to work.

Hearings continued to progress in our courts (though we appreciate the extra burden placed on court users without network access). The issues did not lead to detaining defendants or freeing criminals unlawfully.

Criminal Justice secure email system (CJSM)

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

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

Keeping up-to-date

We will continue to update this news story.

Published 22 January 2019
Last updated 25 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated 25 January - all Ministry of Justice sites are operational with IT network connectivity restored. We are continuing to carefully monitor the situation.
  2. Updated with latest info as of 23 January.
  3. Update added re the IT issues not leading to detaining defendants or freeing criminals unlawfully.
  4. First published.