E-mail outage hits Singapore government agencies

Various ministries and agencies were unable to access their e-mail services in an outage lasting at least five hours. Services have mostly been restored since, according to IDA.

Various Singapore ministries and government agencies were unable to access their e-mail services in an outage on Monday morning lasting over five hours.

Government agencies were hit by an e-mail server outage on Monday morning.

"Some users in government agencies experienced intermittent network access this morning. Access to the network has mostly been restored. Public e-services are not affected," said a spokesperson from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

IDA did not give the exact cause of the disruption, but said it arose from "a technical glitch" which prevented users from accessing e-mail and intranet services.

The spokesperson added the issue was detected at 9am and efforts to restore service commenced immediately. Investigations are ongoing.

According to checks by ZDNet, affected organizations included the Ministry of National Development, IE Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, and the Media Development Authority.

A civil servant who declined to be named said she started noticing the disruption at the beginning of the workday. "I couldn't do anything in the morning. I could only draft emails and leave them in my outbox," she told ZDNet.

Some users were able to access Internet services via their office wireless connections, but remained cut off from the e-mail network. Signs of services being restored appeared around 2pm.

The public sector's ICT services have since 2009 been gradually moving toward running on a common standard operating environment (SOE), dubbed SOEasy , which supports over 90 government agencies.