17 December 2020 - NW2739
Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs
(1)What (a) number of offices of his department have been offline and unavailable to render services at any time during the month of October 2020 due to the system downtime and (b) has been the total number of downtime in hours for all offices of his department during the month of October 2020 due to (i) State Information and Technology Agency system downtime, (ii) power outages, (iii) faulty office equipment, (iv) last-mile connectivity problems and/or (v) any other specified reason; (2) whether his department has any mechanism in place to advise citizens that any specific office is offline so that they don’t waste time unnecessarily travelling to an office that is offline; if not, (3) whether there are any plans to introduce such an early warning system to prevent citizens from wasting time and money travelling to an office that is offline; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the details of the plans?
(1)(a) There were about 7 times in October where system was offline, impacting all Live Capture offices nationwide and there were also incidents affecting individual offices which caused downtime and these include photo booth not working, camera functionality etc.
(1)(b) The current report configuration does not store the downtime in hours but SITA has been requested to create this reports effective 1st of December 2020.
(1)(b)(i) State Information and Technology Agency system downtime,
There are a couple of issues that cause offline or refer to an office as offline. It can be infrastructure issues like cable theft, dependent on as external service provider, Server issues, power outages and application issues or office equipment issues.
(1)(b)(ii) power outages
A consolidated report from SITA is not available for this metric. SITA has been requested to make this report configuration effective 1st of December 2020. There were approximately 20 calls logged for office equipment like FLO (Front Line Officer), Photobooth and some scanners, which did not affect the whole office operations entirely.
(1)(b)(iii) faulty office equipment,
Workstations hardware for Live Capture System (Modernised offices) are actively supported through a 3 year warranty system; and are refreshed every 4 years as per the Tech Refresh Plan. When a workstation required replacement, there is a process to replace computers and peripheral devices that are stored for such purpose both at Head Office and Provincial Head Quarters.
(1)(b)(iv) last-mile connectivity problems and/or (v) any other specified reason
A consolidated report from SITA is not available for this metric. SITA has been requested to make this report configuration effective 1st of December 2020.
(1)(b)(v) Not applicable.
(2) No there is no mechanism in place to proactively inform citizens before travelling as outages are not known upfront or predictable. However Provincial Managers do engage local media to inform Public where major downtimes are experienced and clients are redirected to other offices
(3) The Department is still investigating various options to proactively engage citizens regarding the state of offices.