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Statement on the Central Computer System at MOF

MR SPEAKER – I WISH TO THANK YOU SIR FOR ACCORDING MY MINISTRY THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ISSUE A STATEMENT ON HARDWARE DEGENERATION OF THE CENTRAL COMPUTING SYSTEM AT THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE. SOME SECTIONS OF THE MEDIA HAVE REPORTED BITS AND PIECES ON THIS MATTER.

I APPRECIATE THE HONOUR TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO INFORM THIS AUGUST HOUSE AND THROUGH IT THE NATION ON THE STATUS OF THE INTEGRATED FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (IFMIS) AND THE STEPS THAT GOVERNMENT IS UNDERTAKING TO ENSURE THAT IT IS SPEEDILY RESTORED.

MR SPEAKER SIR – IFMIS FAILED ON MONDAY, 29th JANUARY, 2018 AT ABOUT 22:00 HOURS. SINCE THEN, THE SYSTEM HAS NOT BEEN AVAILABLE FOR BUSINESS USE.

THE HOUSE MAY WISH TO NOTE THAT THE FAILURE WAS NOT DELIBERATE, BUT A DEGENERATION OF THE EQUIPMENT (HARDWARE) THAT RESULTED IN DATA ON THE AFFECTED DAMAGED PORTIONS BEING CORRUPTED. THIS CAUSED THE SYSTEM TO FAIL. THIS IS ATTRIBUTED TO THE OLD AGE OF THE EQUIPMENT WHICH HAS REACHED ITS END OF USEFUL LIFE. [NOTE THAT THE EQUIPMENT IN QUESTION HAS BEEN IN SERVICE FOR MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS].

AT THE TIME OF FAILURE, GOVERNMENT HAD ALREADY TAKEN STEPS TO REPLACE THE OLD EQUIPMENT. NEW EQUIPMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN INSTALLED AND THE PROCESS TO MIGRATE THE SYSTEM FROM THE OLD EQUIPMENT TO THE NEW HARDWARE HAS ALREADY COMMENCED.

MR SPEAKER – WHEN THE FAILURE OCCURRED, IMMEDIATE EFFORTS TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM USING BACKUP DATA FAILED BECAUSE IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE RECORDS FOR RECENT BACKUPS ALSO CONTAINED SOME CORRUPTED DATA AS THE DAMAGE TO THE EQUIPMENT HAD TAKEN PLACE OVER A PERIOD OF TIME BUT ONLY TOOK ITS TOLL ON 29TH JANUARY 2018.

THE RESTORATION OF THE SYSTEM HAS TAKEN A BIT OF TIME BECAUSE OF THE EXTENT OF DAMAGE ON THE OLD EQUIPMENT.

FURTHER, EFFORTS TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM USING THE DISASTER RECOVERY SITE ALSO FAILED BECAUSE THE DATA STORED ON THE DISASTER RECOVERY SITE WAS REPLICATED WITH THE SAME CORRUPTED DATA FROM THE MAIN SYSTEM.

MR SPEAKER – THE HOUSE MAY WISH TO KNOW THAT THE SYSTEM RECONSTRUCTION AND DATA RECOVERY PROCESS IS BEING DONE BY A COMBINED TEAM OF GRZ, CONSULTANTS (A JOINT VENTURE COMPRISING NOVABASE BUSINESS SOLUTIONS OF PORTUGAL AND SEIDOR OF SPAIN) WHO HAVE BEEN CONTRACTED TO IMPLEMENT THE CONTRACT TO PLAN, DESIGN AND IMPLEMENT IFMIS SYSTEMS ENHANCEMENT AND INTERFACES PROJECT, AND SAP GERMANY – THE SOFTWARE APPLICATION PROVIDERS.

THE TEAM HAS BEEN WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM AND THAT SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM, WITH NINETY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE WORK HAVING BEEN COMPLETED. TESTS TO VERIFY THE PROPER FUNCTIONING OF THE RECOVERED COMPONENTS OF THE SYSTEM ARE ONGOING AND HAVE SO FAR BEEN POSITIVE.

MR SPEAKER – IN CONCLUSION, I WOULD LIKE TO ASSURE THIS AUGUST HOUSE THAT MOST OF THE WORK TO RESTORE THE SYSTEM HAS BEEN DONE AND THAT THE SYSTEM WILL BE PUT BACK INTO OPERATION IN THE SHORTEST POSSIBLE TIME WITHIN THE MONTH OF MARCH. IN THE MEANTIME, BUSINESS PROCESSES HAVE CONTINUED USING MANUAL OPERATIONS ALTHOUGH AT A SLOWER SERVICE DELIVERY.

I THANK YOU.

MARGARET MWANAKATWE, MP
MINISTER OF FINANCE