Singapore employers disrupted by online government service outages Singapore employers disrupted by online government service outages

Singapore employers disrupted by online government service outages
20 Feb 2018

Two outages in two days have prompted technology experts to question the robustness of Singapore’s online government services.

Concerns were also raised about how the problems might impact the country’s new national digital identity (NDI) system, according to The Straits Times.

Access to the government’s online portals SingPass and CorpPass, which are linked to a new national digital identity phone app, slowed to a virtual standstill for four hours. The previous day, a six-hour outrage disrupted hundreds of essential e-government services.

Users reported problems accessing their income tax accounts. Some were met with error messages and others struggled with delays as they tried to load their SingPass and CorpPass accounts.

The problems caused huge disruption to business. For example, one particular HR manager was unable to file staff Central Provident Fund contributions for two days and was worried that her company would be fined for filing a late return.

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore, which maintains SingPass and CorpPass, said the problems were not caused by a cyber attack but a "server fault”.

A spokesman said: "We are conducting a thorough review and implementing further measures to minimise any service disruption.”

SingPass, set up 14 years ago to allow Singapore residents to access e-government services, has more than 3.3 million users and supports 57 million transactions each year, including filing income tax returns, paying parking fines and filling in foreign domestic worker application forms.

CorpPass, launched 18 months ago, handles corporate transactions, including the filing of business taxes and work permit applications.

John Lee, president of the Singapore branch of the Association for International Information and Security Governance  said: "The root cause of the outages must be studied and addressed quickly. The outages will undermine the confidence of the public and the trust in the system, and future projects such as the NDI."

The Association of Telecommunications Industry of Singapore  president Mike Ang added: "A national authentication system must be fail-safe."

Gill Owen

Gill Oliver is a business and property journalist who has written for The Daily Mail/Mail Online's This is Money, The Press Association and many national and regional newspapers and magazines.

Two outages in two days have prompted technology experts to question the robustness of Singapore’s online government services.

Concerns were also raised about how the problems might impact the country’s new national digital identity (NDI) system, according to The Straits Times.

Access to the government’s online portals SingPass and CorpPass, which are linked to a new national digital identity phone app, slowed to a virtual standstill for four hours. The previous day, a six-hour outrage disrupted hundreds of essential e-government services.

Users reported problems accessing their income tax accounts. Some were met with error messages and others struggled with delays as they tried to load their SingPass and CorpPass accounts.

The problems caused huge disruption to business. For example, one particular HR manager was unable to file staff Central Provident Fund contributions for two days and was worried that her company would be fined for filing a late return.

The Government Technology Agency of Singapore, which maintains SingPass and CorpPass, said the problems were not caused by a cyber attack but a "server fault”.

A spokesman said: "We are conducting a thorough review and implementing further measures to minimise any service disruption.”

SingPass, set up 14 years ago to allow Singapore residents to access e-government services, has more than 3.3 million users and supports 57 million transactions each year, including filing income tax returns, paying parking fines and filling in foreign domestic worker application forms.

CorpPass, launched 18 months ago, handles corporate transactions, including the filing of business taxes and work permit applications.

John Lee, president of the Singapore branch of the Association for International Information and Security Governance  said: "The root cause of the outages must be studied and addressed quickly. The outages will undermine the confidence of the public and the trust in the system, and future projects such as the NDI."

The Association of Telecommunications Industry of Singapore  president Mike Ang added: "A national authentication system must be fail-safe."

Gill Owen

Gill Oliver is a business and property journalist who has written for The Daily Mail/Mail Online's This is Money, The Press Association and many national and regional newspapers and magazines.

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