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Govt rejects GGCA claims and say IT&LD ‘more than doubled’ in staff since 2011

File photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Gibraltar Government said statements made by the GGCA union over a dispute at the Information Technology & Logistics Department [IT&LD] were “misleading, untrue and wholly irresponsible”.
In a statement, No.6 Convent Place dismissed claims that the government was embarked on an “insidious campaign to dismantle the ITLD Department”.

“This is totally untrue,” the government said, adding the union should know that the IT&LD complement had increased by more than 100% since 2011.

According to the government, the existing compliment of 31 is more than double the department’s 15 staff in 2011.

“How can the GGCA make such outrageous and inaccurate statements when Government has demonstrated the very opposite?” No.6 said.

“There is no desire or campaign to dismantle the ITLD Department.”
The union had declared a dispute in May over plans to transfer cybersecurity roles and responsibilities to the Ministry of Digital Services.

Since then, the proposed changes were put on hold pending discussions between the ministry and the GGCA, which are scheduled to resume on September 19.

But the union claimed that in the interim, the Gibraltar Government had made arrangements to transfer the management of e-Government servers from IT&LD to the ministry “without consulting the GGCA”.

Against the backdrop of the dispute, that triggered industrial action earlier this week.

In it statement on Wednesday, the Gibraltar Government said all policy decisions in respect of the department were taken in consultation “with, on the advice of and in agreement with” the Head of the IT&LD Department, its Director.

“How can the GGCA possibly question policy decisions which have been agreed by the Head of the Department, and in the knowledge of other senior managers?” No.6 said.

“This has been explained to the GGCA and yet they persist with making these statements.”

The government questioned statements by GGCA President Wendy Cumming in an interview on GBC in which she said staff at the department had been excluded from decisions to move government servers to a cloud-based provider.

The government said “that is simply not true”.

“IT&LD were not excluded, on the contrary they were consulted over six months ago and they agreed and welcomed the decision to do this as they understood it would provide a better service to the public,” No.6 said.

“Indeed, IT&LD have themselves already moved two of their own servers onto the cloud in exactly the same way.”

“IT&LD play a critical role in Government’s infrastructure and provide a complete service to all Government Departments including eServices.”

“Without IT&LD these services cannot be made available to the public.”

The government also questioned Ms Cumming’s claims that the decision should have gone through a procurement process as the government had contracted a third party to provide the service.

“This is not true and Wendy Cumming knows this is not true as she has been informed and IT&LD are fully aware that there is no third party as the service providers are themselves hosting the service on the world leading AWS (Amazon Web Services) platform,” No.6 said.

“What procurement process was followed when other servers were moved to the Cloud?”

The statement added: “Ms Cumming further stated that IT&LD have been “’disenfranchised and disempowered’ notwithstanding that she knows that the Director of IT&LD is involved in all decisions relating to his department including in respect of the cyber security issue and the server issue, both of which the director agreed with.”

“The statement is not true.”

Mrs Cumming also told GBC that the dispute had “an easy solution” which was for IT&LD to manage and administer the servers instead of the Ministry for Digital Services.

But the government said the servers would not be managed or administered by Digital Services, and that Ms Cumming had been informed of this in writing.

“It is unfortunate that the GGCA, who have significant GGCA members within the Digital Services team, should seek to divide these teams all of whom should be working closely together to provide better services to the community for the benefit of all,” No.6 said.

“It is also unfortunate that industrial action has been stepped up based on untruths or misinformation when a second meeting has been arranged for the 19th September to continue these discussions.”

“The Government is hopeful that in the meeting on the 19th September a resolution can be found to both the cyber security and server issue.”

“These are matters which we wish to resolve in order to operate more efficiently and improve the performance of the services offered by both IT&LD and eServices working together.”

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