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Council advises of IT upgrade and disruptions

Orkney Islands Council has said there will be widespread disruption and outages to their IT and telephone systems this weekend across all council offices and facilities, as work to install vital new equipment takes place.

The council has said this will affect schools, care homes, Orkney Ferries, Marine Services including the shipping movements information system (VTS), and other external sites that use the council network, both in the mainland and in the isles.

Works will start on today, Friday, at 6pm and from that point onwards there will be significant disruption in terms of access to all of the council’s IT systems including email, access to the internet, operation of internal telephones and switchboard, printing and Wi-Fi access.

Critical 24/7 services including Homecare will still be delivered but with limited IT. Recovery to full IT service level in areas such as this and Marine Operations will be prioritised. Systems will start to return to normal on a phased basis through the following Saturday and Sunday.

The council has said their website will still be available as it is hosted externally. Some online services via the council website will be unaffected — for example, people will still be able to pay council tax and other council invoices via the council website. However, third-party systems hosted through the council’s website including (but not limited to) the Scottish Government’s e-Planning portal and MyView (staff payslips) will be unavailable during the work.

The Orkney Ferries website and Orkney Library and Archive website will also be available. Members of the public will be able to phone facilities such as care homes and libraries on their main number — however, staff answering will not be able to transfer to other extensions.

Library visitors will not be able to use the public access computers, there will be no internet or wi-fi access, and staff will not be able to print materials for them. Borrowing and returns will be unaffected. The council apologises in advance for the disruption, which is necessary to carry improvements in our network performance, resilience and security.

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