Approximately 75 percent of Minnesota’s 338 employees in the state’s Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) have been furloughed due to a state government shutdown, according to Computerworld.

Cathy de Moll, the OET’s director of planning, communications and marketing, told Computerworld that only minimal staff are working on the agency level, many of whom are making sure the state’s unemployment insurance and new enterprise resource planning system remain online and functional. 

Under the rules imposed during the shutdown, which began on July 1 due to a budget impasse, the only IT services that can remain active are those involving security, networking, hosting and communications, the Computerworld report said.

A frequently asked questions document regarding the impact of the shutdown on the OET and its services is available on the office’s website.

Only those services deemed “critical” as determined by the courts will be supported by the OET, according to the informational document. There will be no “break/fix” work, upgrades or patches applied to noncritical applications and services during the shutdown.

“OET is doing emergency patching only for those services that are considered critical, plus some security patching to the major state systems and networks,” said de Moll. “We cannot predict the impact of a prolonged shutdown on these noncritical systems, but expect that without the usual upgrades and maintenance, we may encounter some difficulties as time goes on.”

The courts will also determine the future availability of the state’s Web portal, called Minnesota North Star, at www.minnesota.gov. Also in question is e-mail management and access for government employees. “Agency CIOs and IT leads have received instructions on the process for suspending e-mail for employees deemed ‘noncritical.’ This is an agency responsibility,” according to the OET.