Southwark Council - Appalling IT services

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Tuesday 17 March 2009 3.32pm
If anyone here was trying to get something done by Southwark Council today then good luck. For the 2nd time in 5 days we had a total failure of our awful IT system. It is truly the worst IT system I've ever had to deal with. It fails at least once a week, costing the council thousands of lost working hours. Serco who provide the service are dreadful. It is about time someone made a serious complaint to Serco on behalf of the council's customers and its staff!
Tuesday 17 March 2009 6.46pm
misskarenwalkerse1 wrote:
It is about time someone made a serious complaint to Serco on behalf of the council's customers and its staff!

Perhaps you or your suffering colleagues? The 'general public' will not be fully aware of what is happening - other than experiencing delays or getting inaccurate information generated as a result of the failures you describe.
Tuesday 17 March 2009 11.53pm
You might want to watch using (what I presume is) your real name on this forum. I'm not sure my employer would be too pleased to see their IT systems criticised in a public forum by an employee.

OTOH, you might not be using your real name, but instead, using this forum as a way to force the council's hand and highlight the council's failure to the general public. If that's the case, then I think you have a good idea :)
Wednesday 18 March 2009 10.56am
I have noticed there are a couple of councillors who do regularly contribute to this site....and from what I read they are constructive and helpful. Perhaps they can take note of this complaint and address those of us who use this to reassure us all that SC do have a robust IT system in place which is fully resourced and managed (even if sub-contracted)and that there are contingency or back-up arrangements in place to support this system when it does have problems.
Wednesday 18 March 2009 1.05pm
I do need to hide my identity because the environment here at the moment is one of job cuts etc. To complain about something doesnt seem loyal, but for 2 occasions in 1 week, I was unable to do anywork for at least 3 hrs and this was the experience of hundreds of us. They blamed a virus last week, a failed A/C unit this week. Either way, unacceptable for a major organization like LBS with thousands of employees and over 200,000 potential customers!
Wednesday 18 March 2009 2.02pm
In that case, I suggest you ask James Hatts (our forum host) to change your login from being your real name to a psudeonym to protect your identity.
Saturday 21 March 2009 4.24pm
Southwark has been infected by the conficker worm (see and this has been a cause of IT unreliability over the past few weeks.

This week the air conditioning in the data centre in John Smith House on the Walworth Road failed and the servers went into shutdown mode. Clearly the other data centre should have taken over their role at this point and we've asked why this did not happen as it should.

On the conficker front Serco, the IT partner of the Council, has been working to eradicate the virus and I agree completely that it's not acceptable for hundreds of staff to be unable to access the computer systems on a given day.

misskarenwalkerse1 said "It is about time someone made a serious complaint to Serco on behalf of the council's customers and its staff" - I can confirm that this has been done as this is in my portfolio area. If she wants to speak to me confidentially about this she's more than welcome to do so.


Cllr Tim McNally
LibDem Member for Chaucer Ward
Executive Member for Resources
Southwark Council
07903 967 809 mobile
Sunday 22 March 2009 12.33am
Tim, please don't sack her!

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