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CNPq restores full access to the Lattes platform after blackout – 08/08/2021 – Science

Full access to the Lattes platform was re-established after more than two weeks, according to a statement released by the CNPq (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development), this Saturday night (7).

In the document, the responsible agency said that the system returned to work, making it possible to update curricula and registration of new users. The note also says that the service had already been restored, which allows more than 300 institutions to extract researchers’ curricula.

A failure in the technology area has left Lattes and the Carlos Chagas platform offline since July 23rd.

The two systems are the responsibility of the CNPq, an agency linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and responsible for promoting research in the country.

According to official information, the system 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 would have occurred when migrating the data to a new server.

In an email obtained by Folha, a CNPq official reported that the council’s main server had been reached and that the equipment 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, as it actually happened.

Questioned by Folha, CNPq and the Ministry of Science did not respond about the operation being without warranty and maintenance.

The CNPq had promised to restore all access on August 2, but there were delays. On August 3, after ten days of blackout, the Jair Bolsonaro government re-established partial access to the platform. At the time, it was not possible to update the résumés, but printing and downloading was available.

Lattes is a database with all researchers’ resumes. Actions such as the approval of grants depend on consulting the platform. On the other hand, Carlos Chagas is responsible for operating public calls and notices to promote research, management and payment of grants.

Due to the problem in the platforms, the deadlines for actions such as the submission of proposals, rendering of accounts and the validity of the grants were suspended and extended.

With the systems down, researchers feared the loss of information, but the CNPq ensured that all data was backed up.

About 84 thousand researchers are financed with resources from the CNPq. In addition, other bodies, such as Capes (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) and development agencies linked to state governments, also carry out operations with the aid of the platform.

​Employees point to the failure as a reflection of the budget drop experienced by the CNPq in the Jair Bolsonaro government (no party) and also in the past administration of Michel Temer (MDB), but this was rejected by the chairman of the board, Evaldo Vilela.

In 2021, the agency has 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.

Expenditures on the administration of the unit, which do not include payment of scholarships, were the lowest since 2013 in the first two years of the Bolsonaro government.

The Bolsonaro government tried at the beginning of its term, in 2019, to merge the CNPq with Capes, but the issue did not move forward.

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