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Upgrading GOV.UK publishing systems: downtime on Tuesday 25 March

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We’re upgrading our publishing systems on the evening of Tuesday 25 March. This blogpost tells you what’s happening, and the arrangements for emergency publishing during this period.

Planned downtime: 6pm Tuesday 25 March to 9am Wednesday 26 March

On the evening of Tuesday 25 March, we’ll be moving GOV.UK publishing systems to a new hosting environment. This will mean a faster, more reliable service for government publishers.

This move will be invisible to the general public, who will be able to use GOV.UK as normal.

However, it will mean that you won’t be able to make any ‘business as usual’ changes within publisher during the period from 6pm on Tuesday 25 March to 9am Wednesday 26 March - for example, publishing news articles or new documents.

We are of course aware of the need for contingency to be able to keep publishing in case of emergency events, the details of which are below.

Emergency publishing arrangements

During publisher downtime, we will still be able to publish content centrally to the GOV.UK site in case of emergency.

The procedure to follow for this is our normal process for emergency publishing requests. This includes a phone number you can reach us on to request critical changes.

Scenarios covered by these emergency procedures include situations in which  the public or the government is facing immediate and significant financial, legal or physical risk, including:

  • National emergency or foreign crisis
  • Unpublishing of sensitive pages published in error
  • Sudden major change to government organisation or structure, with immediate impact across GOV.UK
  • Sudden event of national significance, on which government will be expected to lead the response

What’s next

We recognise that any downtime is inconvenient.

However, it’s our first period of scheduled maintenance in 17 months - and is essential in helping us continue our tradition of continuous high performance.

If you do have concerns though, please use this blogpost to ask questions and we’ll do our best to respond.

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  1. Comment by Liz posted on

    Many thanks for clarifying what to do in an emergency - we were having a slight panic when we saw the note on Whitehall, so this is very helpful.

    • Replies to Liz>

      Comment by Graham Francis posted on

      Cheers Liz - totally agree that further explanation was needed, hence this blogpost 😉

  2. Comment by Janet Stewart posted on

    Will you let editors know that they can go back into Whitehall after the downtime or do we assume that everything is OK and simply go back in?

    • Replies to Janet Stewart>

      Comment by Carl Massa posted on

      Editors should assume that the service will be available beginning at the time noted in the original post (9am - Wednesday, 26 March). If there is any further disruption beyond that time an update will be posted here.