State plans to get SMART on e-mail

State plans to get SMART on e-mail

The State Department is considering plans for a State Messaging, Archiving and Retrieval system, a department official said.

The SMART project would replace the cancelled Overseas Presence Interagency Collaboration pilot, which operated at embassies and posts in Mexico, India and Washington. State gave up on OPIC after a critical report from the department's inspector general.

One of SMART's goals is to bring the department into compliance with archiving rules administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, the official said.

State's growing volume of e-mail not only violates those archiving rules but is impossible for system users to search, the official said, because it resides on servers at the department's hundreds of posts. "We have 250 pots of information," the official
said.

State now uses Microsoft Exchange e-mail software for its sensitive but unclassified e-mail traffic. But the SMART system, or the full-scale system it leads to, also is intended to replace the department's outdated system for sending telegrams, the official said.

Foreign Service officers no longer send telegrams, as they did decades ago, but many procedures remain from the superseded technology of former years.

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