CVC issues denial over portal crash wiping out data but contradicts itself

The CVC, in a release issued on March 19, admitted that it was in the process of switching over from an old portal to one utilising a cloud-based server.

The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has termed as "misleading and incorrect" reports that data about corrupt officials was lost after its portal crashed. However, the country's anti-corruption watchdog has contradicted itself by issuing the denial.

The CVC, in a release issued on March 19, admitted that it was in the process of switching over from an old portal to one utilising a cloud-based server. India Today, in its report on March 16, had stated that CVC's portal, which was maintained by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), crashed on November 28. As a result all data on corrupt officials till that date had got erased.

The report also said CVC's problems were compounded as the data was not backed up and its contract with TCS expired the next very month. In the absence of any annual maintenance contract (AMC), TMC could not be forced to retrieve the data.

Subsequently, TMC was replaced with the Centre's web services organisation, National Informatics Centre (NIC). However, sources in CVC said, even NIC could not help retrieve most of the data.

Denying the report, CVC termed the report stating that the data stored online about corrupt officials was lost or deleted as "totally misleading and incorrect". The anti-graft agency clarified that it has not lost any data on corrupt officials or any such information relating to its anti-corruption activities and its vital functions.

It further reiterated that the new online portal was operational since November 2016 and was fully functional for citizens and public to lodge complaint of corruption with respect to public servants.

However, CVC admitted proved the news report correct and contradicted its own statement by stating that the migration of data was taking time. It said, "However, migration of data from the physical server to a cloud-based storage application is taking some more time and, hence, the status of action taken on earlier complaints is not available online at present," it said.

The CVC further said complete data and information related to all actionable complaints is available in its files and records.

However, the news report was based on the documents which revealed that CVC's portal was non-functional at least between December 22 and February 9. CVC's officials, through their letters to Mumbai-based whistleblower HR Kosia, had also clearly stated this.

In her reply to Kosia, CVC director and Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) Jyoti Trivedi replied on December 22, 2016, that "due to technical problem in the working of complaint portal of the Commission, it is not possible to provide the action taken on your complaint at this stage".

The CVC's appellate authority, additional secretary Praveen Sinha, too said that the organisation's complaint portal was not functioning at the time of giving a reply to Kosia.

In her second reply too on February 9 to Kosia, Jyoti Trivedi maintained that the "TCS system of the Commission" was still not working and, hence, it was not possible for CVC to provide the action taken on Kosia's complaints at that stage.

Some of the points made in CVC's denial and the documents of its officials prove that the Central agency's portal is certainly facing serious problems which have not been rectified as yet.

Also read: Jolt to PM Modi's crusade against corruption as CVC's portal crashes, data against corrupt officials deleted