GPW now has back-ups for data, Parliament told

The Government Printing Works (GPW) assured Parliament that it has back-ups to store its data.

The Government Printing Works (GPW) assured Parliament that it has back-ups to store its data.

Published Mar 6, 2024


The Government Printing Works (GPW) assured Parliament on Tuesday that it has back-ups to store its data.

In February 2021, the GPW’s server crashed and led to the loss of data, a move that affected the printing of government gazettes and compiling of the institution’s annual reports.

This led Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to appoint a ministerial review panel to investigate the incident where it was found that the crashing of the institution’s server was due to poor maintenance of the ICT infrastructure, most notably the non-replacement of the batteries.

The panel presented its report to Motsoaledi in July 2022 and the entity received the report in September 2022.

Briefing the home affairs portfolio committee on Tuesday, CEO Alinah Fosi said the management of GPW had immediately developed action plans in order to systematically and adequately respond to the review panel’s recommendations.

Fosi said there had been a lot of organisational instability that had a negative effect on their organisational culture.

She also said there had been a lack of handover between senior managers leaving the organisation, a move that impacted on business continuity.

“GPW has an inherent challenge in terms of institutional capacity due to structural gaps and vacancies.

“The approved organisational structure needed to be reviewed and the approved structure implemented to address these capacity gaps.”

Fosi also said of the 167 recommendations made by the ministerial review panel, GPW has completed 120 recommendations to date and 47 were currently in progress.

On the recommendations related to ICT, Fosi said service level agreements for specialist services have been signed as well as specialist services to support key applications.

She said the Microsoft enterprise agreement has been signed and professional services acquired for 36 months.

Fosi added that the State Information Technology Agency’s business agreement has been signed to ensure SITA was GPW’s ICT partner.

“There have been several meetings between GPW and SITA executives and management to address critical ICT matters affecting GPW. SITA engaged on the 10-year strategy and consultative sessions held between technical experts.”

Fosi said disciplinary processes were completed by the labour relations unit against officials for not regularly testing and ensuring the back-up and restores procedures of the back-up solutions were functional.

She also said a service provider for the maintenance of the UPS and the air-conditioner was appointed.

But, MPs wanted to know whether GPW has back-up servers following the crash three years ago.

Chief information officer Zwelibanzi Gwiba said they do have back-ups that exist.

“We have an architecture that allows us to back-up on the disc, which is an online back-up we have.

“We also have back-up to tape. The back-up to tape we store currently at CSRI.

"We have a schedule where we take the tapes on a weekly basis to CSRI,” Gwiba said.

He also said in terms of the system restores, they make sure they conduct the back-up and test the restores.

“The restores are tested by end-users as well. On a quarterly basis we have our internal risk management that observes the independence of the process and compliance for end-users to make sure that we are indeed able to provide to the organisation proof that we restore.

“The reports are available and the auditors are given these reports as well.”

Cape Times