Andrew Turner apologised today for unusually long delays in the service given by his office recently.
He explained that MPs only receive a new computer system after an election and because his office was one of the first to be changed over after the election in May there have been a number of teething problems which have led to delays in dealing with correspondence.
Mr Turner said :
“Our old computer system was five years old and because of the large volume of work that comes through the office it was creaking at the seams. The Isle of Wight is the largest constituency in the UK – and it does bring a corresponding amount of work. The Parliamentary authorities recognised that and put the Island at the front of the queue for a new system. However there have been significant difficulties in getting the new machines and operating system to work with the specialist casework software. We have been without an effectively operating system now for almost three weeks and despite the best efforts of all involved it has been hard to identify exactly what was wrong.
“Eventually Microsoft were called in and today it finally looks as though the major problems have been identified – although there are still some niggles that need sorting out. I am sorry if anybody has been inconvenienced recently but my wonderful staff are now working hard to deal with the backlog. I would be grateful if people will bear with them over any undue delays – it really hasn’t been their fault, and they have also been very frustrated at not being able to get on with their work. Hopefully things will now settle down and the new system will support us in giving Islanders the prompt and reliable service we always aim for.
Mr Turner confirmed that any urgent matters that had come into the office had been identified and dealt with manually.