Guam government struggling to maintain websites

by | Feb 14, 2019 | Guam | Comments

The government of Guam has been facing issues with various websites under its authority. One of the affected websites was the Guam Health Professional Licensing office according to acting Administrator of the Guam Health professional licensing office, Marlene Carbullido. The websites are “not functioning as they’re supposed to” due to limited space hence they are unable to put up minutes on there as required by the Open Government Law for various boards under the HPLO. The root cause of these issues has been funding which by the estimates is  between $35,000 and $174,000 to procure the website space needed, according to Roma Basa, the HPLO office manager. However there are plans to procure website development by a nonprofit to help develop websites.

In other recent cases, some Guam government websites have been affected by this backlog due to the government shutdown and one of the affected services has been the Guam World War II claims which are not regularly updated “due to lapse in appropriations.” In April 2018, various websites ending with guam.gov were hacked with the intent of spreading awareness about the conditions in Syria. This attack raised awareness for the government which started a campaign on the practice of good cyber hygiene with some safety tips in order to counter these attacks.

Despite being resolved shortly, issues were also reported in November with the websites of the Department of Revenue and Taxation, Department of Public Health, Department of Administration and the Department of Corrections as a result of power outages which disrupted its services delivery since various government of Guam agencies rely on digital connectivity to accomplish their work. The most notably affected agency has been the Department of Corrections (DOC), which conducts magistrate hearings for inmates remotely without the need to be physically transported to the Supreme Court of Guam.

Hence, the recurrence of power outages is likely to paralyze the network connectivity of the island’s institutions, if nothing is done.