Transportation to contract for electronic records

The Transportation Department will issue three requests for proposals over the next two months to develop an electronic records management system for the department's headquarters now under construction, a senior IT official said today.

Transportation first will seek proposals for the overall strategy and business process for designing and assembling the infrastructure of an electronic records system. Then it will seek input on the technology to be deployed, followed by a call for network storage services through the GSA schedule, Transportation deputy CIO Eugene 'Kim' Taylor said at an industry breakfast.

The network storage services also would include document scanning and indexing, as well as determining whether older and duplicated documents should be archived or eliminated. Documents include letters, policy documents and payroll records.

Transportation has to plan the readiness of its major IT systems in part around its headquarters building schedule, he said. The department must begin to stage large systems in March 2006, in preparation for the general move in September of that year to its new building.

'Two things are looming here. There is a building schedule that drives us to meet certain infrastructure schedules. And the infrastructure is based on the drive for funding. Those things are somewhat out of synch now,' Taylor said.

Although the department received $10 million for the project late in the year from the fiscal 2004 budget, the project will likely cost tens of millions over several years, he said.
Transportation may add more components, depending on funding next year.

The time frame is also tight. Transportation needs to get the strategies tied down by the end of this year and then buy the system early next year, Taylor said.

'Then the hard work is dealing with the actual records and making decisions about them,' he said.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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