Getting info out is center's focus

The National Library of Education has launched EDPubs, the Education
Department’s one-stop information center.


EDPubs distributes books, magazines, videos, brochures, posters and other documents
about Education. It has a searchable database of the department’s products and a
customer call center for ordering. The emphasis is on exceptional customer service,
including quick turnaround times for departmental product requests, department officials
said.


The new PCs, to be either leased or bought, will be acquired through a single purchase,
officials said. An internal Web page for monitoring the replacement of the PCs will
contain information on the project team, the installers, employees and the offices
affected.


The board also ordered an upgrade of the current version of Lotus cc:Mail by next month
to ensure it’s year 2000-ready.


But because the client-server mail system is not yet working, the board agreed to
postpone decisions about the system until it is up and running.


The online system lets schools and students check award balances and make payment
requests. GAPS was the last remaining component of the Education Central Automated
Processing System to become operational.


GAPS replaces a legacy system used by the Health, Education and Welfare Department, the
predecessor to the Education Department. Users familiarize themselves with the payment
request process by visiting http://gapsweb.ed.gov/training.


All the department’s 14 mission-critical systems are on schedule for renovation,
validation and implementation, the report said. About half of the mission-critical systems
are now in the validation phase. Renovations of the remaining systems will be finished by
November, and all of the validation and implementation work will be done by March, the
report said.


The department’s projected year 2000 conversion costs for fiscal 1996 through
fiscal 2000 are $34.2 million, up from the last report.


Extensive validation testing and the acceleration of renovation work raised the costs,
department officials said.


The goal, year 2000 project director Nina Winkler said, is to determine how Education
can best offer additional technical assistance to school systems in need.


Her staff is particularly concerned about school systems that don’t have the money
to fix their date code.

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