SingPass, CorpPass services restored after 4-hour disruption, second outage in 2 days

Some users were greeted with error messages while others faced delays loading their SingPass and CorpPass accounts. PHOTO: ST READER

SINGAPORE - After a six-hour outage on Thursday (Feb 8), access to national authentication systems SingPass and CorpPass slowed to a crawl again for about four hours on Friday, disrupting hundreds of essential e-government services.

In a Facebook post at about 3.30pm, the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) said services were restored at 3.15pm, but some users said they still could not access their accounts.

For users still facing log-in issues, GovTech advised users to clear the cache of their Web browsers.

GovTech's post read: "We are conducting a thorough review and implementing further measures to minimise any service disruption."

Facebook users started reporting problems accessing their income tax accounts and inability to renew or cancel foreign workers' work permits as early as 11am.

Some were greeted with error messages while others faced delays loading their SingPass and CorpPass accounts.

Businessman Lim Kuan Sai, 52, told The Straits Times that he was trying to file his income tax on Friday morning but could not get through. "Time for me to go for lunch now," he said.

Human resources manager Mikki Toh, 29, said she could not file employees' Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions on Thursday and Friday.

"If the system is still not up by Feb 14, my company will be considered late in submitting employees' CPF and will be fined," she said.

She also urgently needed to cancel the work permit of a foreign worker who had left her company, so that she can discontinue paying the levy.

Similarly, quantity surveyor Eddision Tan, 26, urgently needed to renew the work permit of a foreign worker to avoid paying a late charge of $100.

Also, he will be going on leave from next Tuesday for Chinese New Year and needed to settle the CPF contributions of 24 employees before that, or face a fine by the authorities.

GovTech first alerted users to the problem in a tweet at 12.31pm. The post read: "We understand SingPass and CorpPass users may be unable to access the systems. Our team is looking into the matter now. We appreciate everyone's patience and will keep you updated."

On Thursday, users also experienced intermittent problems and slowness in accessing SingPass and CorpPass as early as 11am.

The authentication services were then taken down in the afternoon for urgent maintenance due to a "server fault", said GovTech, the agency behind public-sector technology transformation, including the development of SingPass and CorpPass.

Thursday's outage was not a result of any cyber attack and services were fully restored at about 5.15pm, GovTech said.

Set up in 2003 for Singapore residents to access e-government services, SingPass has more than 3.3 million registered users and supports 57 million e-government transactions, including the filing of income taxes, parking fine payments and foreign domestic worker applications.

CorpPass, rolled out in September 2016, is meant for corporate transactions, including the filing of corporate taxes and work permit applications.

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