MOJ IT systems failures - Chair updates profession

24 January 2019

The following message was sent to the profession on Wednesday 23 January 2019 from Richard Atkins QC. It also appeared in BarTalk on Thursday 24 January:  

IT failures affecting Ministry of Justice and HMCTS systems

This week I have been in contact with the Ministry of Justice and HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) following the ongoing issues affecting IT systems in the courts. I have now received two letters, one from Tom Read the Chief Digital and Information Officer at the Ministry of Justice and one from Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive Officer of HMCTS (whom I also met yesterday).

Tom has conveyed to me his apologies to the Bar and other court users for the IT problems which have affected the courts as well as the CJSM secure email system over the last week. He has assured me that the Ministry is working with its IT suppliers who are doing all they can to rectify the faults.

Susan Acland-Hood has also personally apologised for the problems and promised to notify the Bar Council in future of any problems as and when they arise. I will be meeting with Tom Read in the near future to discuss these matters and to seek assurances that the IT systems will be properly funded so that the chaos that has been experienced over the last few weeks does not re-occur. I will keep the profession updated.

Richard Atkins QC

Chair of the Bar