Virginia state troopers are having a tough time filing reports and accessing their e-mails after a state computer failure last week. It's the latest problem for Virginia's troubled IT agency.
The outage started last Thursday morning and affects Virginia State Police email, calendars and online folders. Those folders contain templates for more than 100 reports troopers and investigators use on a regular basis.
The problem has hampered internal and external email traffic. A state police spokeswoman says although the outage has not affected troopers' ability to respond to emergencies, she says it has crippled online communication.
The state police computer system is maintained by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and by subcontractor Northrop Grumman. VITA says technicians have been working nonstop through the holiday weekend to try to resolve the issue.
At this point experts believe the outage was caused by a hardware failure. A VITA spokeswoman says that the state police servers are old and are not designed to handle the years and years of emails currently stored there. VITA is in the process of planning the best way to upgrade that equipment.
This outage is the latest in a long string of problems for the tech agency which has come under close and frequent scrutiny from state legislators. Last year, a massive failure affecting DMV computers disrupted driver's license operations for more than a week and caused major headaches at other state offices across the commonwealth.
A VITA spokeswoman tells us that technicians expect to have the hardware problem fixed and state police computers back to normal by Wednesday or Thursday.
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