MUCH of Glasgow City Council ground to a halt after it was hit by a computer gremlin.
The local authority suffered what it called an "exceptionally rare" computer failure which left thousands of workers unable to log on to
The local authority suffered what it called an "exceptionally rare" computer failure which left thousands of workers unable to log on to their computers. Most of the city's office-based staff were affected by what is believed to be an unprecedented hardware breakdown.
Council IT chiefs were today expected to get new parts from the south of England to allow repairs.
City bosses stressed no "critical functions", such as child welfare, stopped because of the problem.
The Evening Times understands that both the main computer disk that controls log-ins and its back-up failed.
A spokesman for the council said: "The specific problem we have had is exceptionally rare."
Most staff were unable to access their emails, documents or even telephone contacts through their computers for much of yesterday. One said they had been "crippled" by the problem.
The spokesman added: "Some customers may experience delays if they try to contact us by telephone. Our online services are still available and any customer who's tried to call to pay a bill can do so online."
Glasgow has outsourced its IT systems to a joint venture arm's-length organisation, or Aleo, called Access it has set up with a private company.
The council has faced several embarrassing computer blunders in recent months, including the loss of the bank details of tens of thousands of people.
Council insiders insisted Access was not to blame for the failure of hardware.
But Graeme Hendry, the city's opposition leader, said: "It leaves you wondering should we now consider the future of this Aleo."
l Tesco at Silverburn was closed for much of yesterday morning because of a "technical fault". It reopened in the afternoon.