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West Virginia Agencies Impacted by Mainframe Failure

The Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Motor Vehicles were among the state government agencies affected by the system outage. Issues with the mainframe began Tuesday.

An IT employee working on a mainframe.
(TNS) — A mainframe failure impacting operations for some parts of West Virginia's government was expected to be repaired by Thursday.

The Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Motor Vehicles were among areas of state government affected by a system outage, according to statements released from officials in those departments Wednesday morning. The system initially went down Tuesday.

Other state agencies were also affected by the outage, said House Technology and Infrastructure Chairman Daniel Linville, R- Cabell.

Linville, who is an information technology director by trade, said the state's internal mainframe shut down when two parts, which can serve as fail-safes for each other, simultaneously failed.

State officials were working to get replacement parts Wednesday, said Linville, who was in communication with people from the State Technology Office throughout the day.

While the use of internal mainframes is fairly common, mostly in banks, Linville said the model of system operation the state uses might not be best suited for government operations.

On a more long-term basis, Linville said he and other state officials were working toward transitioning the state's computer systems to external servers, which would provide more network backup in the event of a similar issue in the future.

"It's less so that the technology we're using is outdated, but the means of putting it to use is," Linville said. "That model that we're currently on — we own that hardware and it's in a building we have and we power it, as opposed to paying for that as a service from multiple data centers all across the country. Had we been on that system, which we're working to move toward, then we would not have had that same problem because at any given time there would have been three or four of those to accomplish that same end goal."

Until services are restored, DMV officials encouraged people to visit the agency's website at and check the up-to-date alert box before visiting a regional office or try the online services portal.

For DHHR, the WV PATH system wasn't functional.

The system provides support for families with children to obtain food, shelter, work training, help paying utility bills, child care assistance and educational resources, according to the WV PATH website.

People using WV PATH could still submit applications and renewals, but those requests were unable to be processed due to the mainframe issues.

DHHR officials recommended those in need of assistance contact the office they were trying to reach by phone or email. The agency's customer service line, 1-877-716-1212, remained open Wednesday.

A news release Wednesday said agency staff might not be able to process applications or make changes to existing cases until the outage is resolved.

©2022 The Charleston Gazette, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.