Data Center Issue Prompts GAO to Revert Redesigned Website Back to an Old Version


The new site’s host company, Contegix, is still working to resolve the technical difficulties, a GAO official said.

Nearly two weeks after launching a redesigned upgrade of its external website, the Government Accountability Office has temporarily reverted back to its older version due to a data center issue affecting Contegix, the company that hosts the new site. 

GAO’s Managing Director of Public Affairs Chuck Young told Nextgov Tuesday that the agency’s updated site originally went completely down around 9:30 a.m. Monday and managed service provider Contegix alerted the agency that “the problem is at their data center in Reston,” Virginia. The company initially confirmed that they were working with their vendor to identify and resolve the issue, and the new site initially went back up late Monday afternoon. 

“But then it was down again sometime overnight and was still down at 7:00 a.m. today,” Young said Tuesday. “That is when we decided to switch to the old site until we are confident the company has their problems resolved.”

GAO’s homepage on Tuesday also included a banner notice detailing the issue and indicating that some of the current site’s content might be out of date. The older version currently up also doesn’t include some of the newer features introduced during the redesign, including a robust tool users can tap into to find experts at the agency. Still, Young said it was necessary to switch back to the older site version until the problems are fixed—because the watchdog has new reports and documents to disseminate to the public. 

“We had a different vendor for the old one and were able to bring it back temporarily,” Young said. 

Contegix did not immediately respond to Nextgov’s request for more information regarding the root cause of the issue, but it is clear that GAO wasn’t the only entity affected. Other clients of the hosting company took to Twitter Monday to voice complaints that their sites, including at least one local government site, were down. A few users said the issue was due to an extensive server outage. 

“Trying to determine if this is an ‘hours’ issue or ‘days’ issue. Response on their part has been abysmal,” one user tweeted Monday morning. Early that afternoon, Contegix tweeted that the “technical difficulties” were resolved and impacted sites were “functioning properly,” but people immediately responded their sites were still down

“All we know from Contegix so far is that it is issues related to their servers,” Young said.

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