Sat, Jan 24, 2009 - Page 3 News List

MOI to list those at fault in airport computer crash

By Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said yesterday that a list of those responsible for a computer crash that caused chaos at three of the nation’s airports when the National Immigration Agency’s (NIA) computer system was out of action for more than 30 hours three weeks ago would be released soon, but refused to give a specific date.

Last week, NIA Chief Hsieh Li-gung (謝立功)aid punishment would be meted out two or three days after the consumer vouchers were dispensed, which took place last Sunday.

On Jan. 5, thousands of passengers were affected when the NIA computer system at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport crashed for 36 hours.

Hsieh later said that eight people who were under travel restriction had slipped in or out of the country within that period. All eight have been located, he said.

At a press conference three weeks ago, Hsieh apologized for the glitch and vowed to hold himself and others accountable within one week.

“I cannot tell you who is on the list, but I can say all the top NIA officers’ names were mentioned,” NIA Deputy-chief Ho Jung-chun (何榮村) said.

Deputy MOI Minister Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said the names had been submitted to the ministry’s internal review board, but was unsure when the punishments would be meted out.

The crash was the worst malfunction of its kind the NIA had encountered. Hundreds of customs officials had to hand-record travel information for more than 40,000 passengers to be later entered into the system, said Hsieh, adding that it took more than 24 hours to enter all the information once the system was fixed. Airports frequently used by people to travel to and from China, such as Kaohsiung, Matsu and Kinmen also experienced problems.

Hsieh said the problem was caused by “faulty hard drives.”

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