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Payments restart as DOE computer system is partly restored

The Department of Education has begun catching up on payments to vendors after partly restoring a computer system that crashed Oct. 6, officials announced today.

The department processed and mailed out checks worth $320,000 over the weekend and is sending out another 2,000 checks that total $15 million.

The Financial Management System handles a range of vendor payments, from school supplies to construction contracts. Employee payroll and school food service were not affected when the system failed during an upgrade.

“The department sincerely thanks our vendors and business partners for their understanding and patience during this outage,” said Amy Kunz, Assistant Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer. “Please be assured that we are working diligently to bring this critical system back up and running properly.”

Administrators are prioritizing payments for school facilities, workers’ compensation claims and special education services, she said. They will then phase in access for schools for purchase orders and payments.

“As part of our effort to modernize the department’s systems, including FMS, we have been working to upgrade our programs,” said Brook Conner, assistant superintendent for information technology. “This is a complex initiative due in part to the age of some of these platforms. Our goal is to enhance these systems to better serve our students, schools and community partners to minimize this type of disruption going forward.”

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