IT failure at Sheffield Council led to £10 million worth of delayed payments

An IT failure at Sheffield City Council has led to £10 million of delayed council tax payments.

The recent migration of one of the core systems within Revenues & Benefits resulted in some direct debits due to be taken on May 31 and June 1 failing.

The details of the problem were revealed after Liberal Democrat Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed submitted written questions on the matter.

Councillor Cate McDonald, Executive Member for Finance and Resources said: "After the recent migration of one of our core systems, we became aware of a technical fault within the process.

"This has resulted in some Direct Debits for Council Tax, due to be taken on the 31st May and 1st June, failing to collect.  As soon as we noticed the issue, we began work immediately to rectify the problem."I would like to reassure residents that we are working hard, with all hands on deck, to fix the issue which we hope will be resolved shortly. We will be writing to residents to update them on the situation and inform them of their revised payment date."

Council officers have confirmed that 77,549 people have been affected. Their payments totalled £10,005,699.80.

Lib Dem Leader Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed said: "This has caused a lot of confusion and worry. When a payment doesn’t go through and you can’t get through on the phone, your mind automatically jumps to the worst-case scenario.

"Sheffield City Council need to act swiftly to ensure there will be no financial impact on residents because of the council’s failure."

Councillor McDonald added: "I want to offer my sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused people and urge anyone who has been negatively impacted by this to contact Customer Services on 0114 273 6633."