A “significant review” into the island’s IT partner should be finished by the second half of this year, with an expert private sector panel now appointed to pry into the contract between the States and Agilisys.
Deputy Yvonne Burford, President of the Scrutiny Management Committee, told the States yesterday that “recent events have confirmed the view of the committee that this is an area that requires scrutiny”.
She also welcomed the recent announcement that PwC has been appointed at a cost of £70,000 to provide interim oversight into the States’ IT meltdown and said its “short and sharp” findings would be incorporated into the wider review.
Deputies’ fears that resilience and a lack of business continuity plans within States systems would not be investigated were dispelled by Deputy Burford, saying it “would be very remiss” not to consider that alongside wider value for money assessments.
Pictured: States IT systems went into meltdown in December after an air conditioning unit failed in the main server room, and a switchover to backup systems also failed.
Deputy Neil Inder was particularly critical of the speed of scrutiny applied to Agilisys and questioned if a review would be better delivered by a non-political body.
“The review was trialled sometime in the middle of last year. Since then we've had two server room meltdowns. Our parliament hasn't been working, printers aren't working, the schools have got no access to Wi Fi, yet Deputy Burford tells us that we're not gonna get a result for the review to the end of the year,” he said.
“On top of that, there will be another 30 million pounds spent. The question I have to ask, with genuine respect, is Scrutiny really the right process for doing something? Basically at analogue speed when we need digital movement today?”
Deputy Burford pointed out the States IT issues occurred after the review was announced in July 2022, and that the PwC review would provide answers before the full report.
“The nature of a scrutiny review is it requires engagement with the public and getting information from stakeholders, and a lot of the time is taken up with going out for that evidence from stakeholders subsequently having people come in and be questioned by the Committee,” she said.
“I'm sorry it's not as soon as Deputy Inder would have liked but we are certainly well into the review now with some experienced people and we'll be publishing towards the end of the year.”
Pictured: Deputy Neil Inder has been critical of Agilisys throughout this States term.
Deputy Victoria Oliver confirmed that her main committee, the Development & Planning Authority, is still experiencing issues with States printers, and wondered if Presidents' views into IT issues would be explored.
Deputy Burford suggested Committees have already made representations to the review, including the DPA, and that printer issues featured “quite heavily”.
Deputy Sam Haskins questioned if the cost of transporting Agilisys staff between Guernsey and the UK, as well as housing them temporarily on-island would be revealed by the review.
Deputy Burford said the terms of reference for the process has already been laid out, but there is still time for anyone to “submit further representations to the committee” for consideration.
Questions growing as IT issues continue
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