Responding to reports that the £100m Logica-designed system has failed during tests over the past three weeks, an Ofgem spokesman said, "We had an outage in one system for about an hour last week. It was a hardware problem, which was fixed quickly and no data was lost."
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The Electricity Pool, the current spot market operator, voiced concerns that problems with the system could cause wild fluctuations in power prices and lead to disputes between electricity generators and suppliers.
Logica has downplayed these fears. Anthony Cole, managing director of Logica UK, said, "It is a big, complicated programme - a reform of an entire industry. The main challenge is in dealing with new business processes, not the IT system itself."
Commenting on the reported test failures, Cole said, "The tests were pre-production, like a full-scale dress rehearsal. There were some glitches but no showstoppers. That is what tests are for."