Solomon Islands
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Government Revenue Collection System Fails

Government revenue over the past few days have not been collected because of a failure in the IT systems.

Officials at the revenue collection department says the system was down since Monday this week, and the IT department is working on a solution.

“We were told by IT that they will advise us when the system is fixed, up to this morning it has not been fixed,” one of the staff manning the counter said.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands in government revenue has not been collected over the past three days.

“I have been checking to pay my vehicle license since Monday, and I have been told to come back every time,” said Gabby, a bus operator in Honiara.

“Every day I wait I am also losing money because I cannot operate.”

Are our revenue systems safe? That is the question people should be asking. A glitch in a critical government system that lasts for days should raise alarm bells? What is going on?

The IT department at the ministry will not comment, referring all queries back to the information desk.

Travis, an IT trained person familiar with the IT systems used by the finance ministry, says that when the system is down for days the “only likely explanation is they may have detected potential threats to the system.”

“Threat detection and response will take days, so that is what I think is happening.”

He says like any other IT system it can be a challenge to respond effectively if the system is live, and any error will have to go through a review process which can be time-consuming.

“It is quite unusual for a government system to stay offline for days, just like banks they are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities – so this could be something serious.”