Jair Bolsonaro’s management guaranteed this Wednesday (28) that the problem that brought down the Lattes and Carlos Chagas platforms did not cause data loss. There is still no deadline for the systems to go back online.
In a video released this afternoon, the president of the CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), Evaldo Vilela, says that there is a backup of the information contained in the platforms, which are the main ones for Brazilian research. The loss of information was a fear among researchers and agency officials.
“Information backup is guaranteed. We know this is a big concern and it was our priority to make sure of this guarantee so that we can inform the entire community as quickly as possible,” he said in the video.
Vilela apologized for the inconvenience and stressed that there will be no delays in scholarship payments. The deadlines for actions such as the submission of proposals, rendering of accounts and the validity of scholarships are suspended and will be extended.
The Lattes and Carlos Chagas platforms have been experiencing a blackout since Friday (23) after a failure in the technology area. Lattes is a database with all researchers’ resumes, and actions such as the approval of grants depend on consulting the platform —according to Vilela, the reestablishment of the platform is the highest priority.
On the other hand, Carlos Chagas is responsible for operating public calls and notices to promote research, management and payment of grants. About 84,000 researchers are financed with resources from the CNPq, but other research bodies also carry out operations anchored in Lattes.
The president of CNPq confirmed that the systems blackout was caused by the burning of a device in equipment that has the function of controlling the servers where the platforms are hosted. This occurred during data migration to a new server. He ruled out the action of a hacker.
In an email obtained by the report, a CNPq employee reported, on Monday (26), that the main CNPq server had been reached and that it would be out of warranty and without a maintenance contract. This would prevent an immediate repair and would bring the need to hire an outside company.
The diagnosis of the problem was completed by two contracted companies. The government is still looking for equipment to replace the damaged one, which should take place until Thursday (29), according to the government.
Officials point to the failure as a reflection of the budget drop that the CNPq is experiencing, which is rejected by the president of the CNPq. “I emphasize that the IT problem is not related to the budget,” said Vilela.
According to the organization’s Information Technology and Management director, Thales Marçal, the modernization of the entire infrastructure of the platforms was already underway, with the acquisition of a new server. “The process of migrating all systems was already underway. It’s a slow process and it was in the middle of that process that the old equipment had the problem,” he said in the video.
The backup is being installed on the new server, according to Marçal. “There are almost 7 million résumés. It has already started [a instalação] and there are about 48 hours left to finish.”
Linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, CNPq has in 2021 the lowest budget since at least 2012, even in nominal values. The agency’s updated allocation for the year is R$1.2 billion – between 2013 and 2015, for example, the executed budget exceeded R$2 billion.