It seems that the Government is in trouble with its IT again. Apparently an 'upgrade' to the Department of Work and Pensions' network went awry at the weekend, such that it became impossible for many of its staff to login, and the Benefits system has been down for several days, at least for new claimants. The exact nature of the problem remains obscure to us mortals, so speculation is rife. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft and the nefarious EDS have both been implicated. Who knows?
My guess is that a massive exercise to upgrade hundreds of PCs with the latest Windows XP service pack changed network settings and installed firewalls on the target machines which then lost their way, requiring a laborious and costly manual intervention.
If that is the case, then serve them right for using Microsoft software in the first place.