August start for delayed Qld mail project

Queensland's massive Exchange 2007 consolidation will finally move ahead with a pilot in August after the state election and department consolidations caused delays, according to a state estimates hearing on Tuesday.

Queensland's massive Exchange 2007 consolidation will finally move ahead with a pilot in August after the state election and department consolidations caused delays, according to a state estimates hearing on Tuesday.

(Credit: Tourism Queensland)

The state put out a request for tenders for the program — called the Identity, Directory and Email Services program (IDES) — last year, looking for a supplier to transition all of the government's existing Microsoft Exchange installations to a new whole-of-government identity management platform.

The project is expected to save the government $100 million over a 10-year period, according to Queensland Government CIO and Department of Public Works director general Mal Grierson, speaking at the hearing.

The project was put out to tender last year. According to the tender documents, 80,000 email accounts were set to be migrated to the new system by June 2010. Implementation of the project had been slated to commence in the first quarter of 2009 with an initial pilot to touch some 5000 government staff.

The project is, however, still out to tender. "It is a very complex system," Grierson said. "The tenders have been evaluated. I think we are almost complete and we will be awarding the tender within the next four to six weeks."

He said that the government had waited for the consolidation from 23 agencies to 13 before continuing. "To roll out the implementation of this, we needed to make sure that we had synergy with the new structures of government." The election also delayed tendering.

The pilot has now been booked in for August, implementing new systems in the Department of Public Works.

ICT Minister Robert Schwarten said that $45 million of loan funding had been approved to fund IDES, which would be repaid by the ninth year of the 10-year business plan.

The state's technology transformation program to consolidate datacentres from multiple into two and to rationalise the government's fibre and copper networks was also continuing, Grierson said. The cost of this project is $44 million — $20.7 million from Treasury and $23.3 million in debt funding, which will be returned via savings.