Council computer failure catastrophe

DISASTER has struck Ballymoney Borough Council after thousands of documents were lost due to a major failure to the computer system.

According to sources, staff have lost Council minutes, agendas and documents stored on the server and all emails sent and received from the end of December have vanished.

The issue was addressed at a Full Council meeting on Tuesday, January 4 by the Mayor Bill Kennedy who congratulated staff on their efforts to rectify the situation.

He explained: "We have had our computer system down and I would like to congratulate all staff involved especially the Head of Corporate and Development Services, Elizabeth Johnston, for all their effect over the past few weeks to resolve the issue."

Due to the lack of detail in the Council minutes a note was also circulated at the meeting from Ms Johnston which stated: 'Due to a failure in computer system we have not had, from last Wednesday, access to documents stored on the server.

'In the time available it has not been possible to retype committee reports which form the basis of our minutes.

'In the circumstances you have been provided with a table or recommendations. If the system is up and running again in advance of the Council Meeting I will do my best to have the minutes of Council and Committee in their usual format available then.

'We have also been without email access since Wednesday last and it may be the case that there are items of correspondence and reports which, access to email and time permitting, will be included in an addendum.

'I apologise that the full minutes are not available but trust that the interim report will suffice'.

Joanne McLaughlin, Town Centre Project Officer also circulated an email asking: "Due to a major computer system failure at our offices before Christmas, Council staff have lost all records relating to emails sent or received since April 2010. We have been advised by our IT personnel to contact any known recent email senders of important information and ask them to resend if possible.

"Many thanks for any assistance you may be able to provide."