Did USA Staffing have a catastrophic outage last week?

Overheard from a Departmental Staffing Bulletin…..

“USA Staffing Update Relating to System Maintenance Issues

On August 9th, 2011 at 1:00pm, USA Staffing System (OPM’s Talent Acquisition System) was brought offline by OPM to perform unscheduled maintenance. {technical idiom for “CRASHED”} This period of maintenance was necessary to research, identify, and resolve problematic issues reported by users of the system. During this period of unscheduled maintenance, applicants, HR specialists, and selection managers were not able to access the system. The OPM USA Staffing Program Office worked tirelessly to restore the system functionality and was able to bring the system back online on August 11th, 2011th at 4:45am by reverting back to a backup system date of August 7th, 2011 at 4:00pm.

In partnership with the USA Staffing Program Office, {THIS DEPARTMENT} has proactively extended all vacancies to August 15th, 2011 that close between August 7th, 2011 and August 10th, 2011 to afford applicants additional time to apply/re-apply for vacancies. This unscheduled maintenance has undoubtedly caused a delay in recruitment efforts and service agreements. The USA Staffing Program office has informed [THIS DEPARTMENT} they will begin the notification of applicants adversely impacted by the system down time at 12:00 August 12th, 2011. In addition, the [THIS DEPARTMENT’S HR STAFF} is working through other mitigating actions required to return to a steady state of recruitment activities.”

I had seen the desperate pleas for help and complaints last week on OPM’s USAJOBS Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/USAJOBS.

I guess the most interesting part is that after “working tirelessly to restore the system functionality” that was brought down to “resolve problematic issues reported by users of the system,” OPM surrendered in their search for the issues, went to the backup and lost two days of job seeker input.

What happened to the applicants who created new accounts on Application Manager between August 7th at 4:00PM (time if the last system backup) and August 9th at 1:00PM (the time of the CRASH)? Did those accounts disappear when the system was backed up to August 7th?

What about the applications that were submitted through Application Manager in that time period? Did they disappear as well?

How will these applicants receive fair consideration when their applications were wiped away?

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