Rachael Singh, Accountancy Age, Thursday 17 June 2010 at 00:45:00

All major online services will be disrupted when Insolvency Service shutsdown its IT systems for ten days to carry out an 82m upgrade

Creditors could find themselves more than 19m out of pocket while theInsolvency Service shuts its IT system down for ten days.

Insolvency practitioners will be unable to request payments, on behalf ofcreditors, from the Official Receivers? offices, as the government agencyupgrades its technology system in an 82m project.

Insolvency practitioners have labelled the move to take the old systemcompletely offline while upgrading as ?bonkers?.

Generally, most IT integration projects run old and new system concurrently.This ensures a smooth handover and mitigates for any delays which may occur ifthe new system struggles or fails to meet its deadline.

?You would never run a new system with the old one going offline in casethere are any problems,? said Philip Long, partner at PKF.

The government agency had given insolvency practitioners ?as much notice aspossible?, equating to around six weeks, and said it has made provisions for theextra payments required for creditors when the upgrade is completed.

?Generally there are few transactions on an individual insolvency account inany week unless, for example, a dividend is being paid to a large number ofcreditors,? a spokeswoman said.

?We anticipate that practitioners will be able to plan their financialmatters around the down time so that it has little or no effect.?

The Insolvency Service expects all its major online based services, includinginsolvency notices sent to the London Gazette and support services, to bedisrupted during this period.

The IT overhaul is referred to as the Enabling the Future project and isexpected to be fully integrated by 31 March 2015 and to deliver estimatedbenefits of 122m annually.

Although the coalition government has announced budget cuts to IT projects, theInsolvency Service was given the green light.

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