New records management system for NMCI

NEW ORLEANS'After more than five years of planning, EDS Corp. has started deploying an enterprise records management system over the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet portal.

EDS, which manages the portal, is deploying Total Records and Information Management (TRIM) software from Tower Software of Australia to manage all Navy and Marine Corps records and documents 'everything from e-mail to PowerPoint slides ' on more than 360,000 computers that make up the NMCI enterprise network.

Tower is a subcontractor to EDS on NMCI, an $8.8 billion program that links voice, video and data communications throughout the Navy.

Charley Barth, director of records for the Navy, said he is pleased that the Navy is finally getting control of its electronic records to comply with the Federal Records Act (FRA) and to decrease the service's risk of impropriety and embarrassment.

For example, Barth cited recent e-mail correspondence that showed the Air Force and Boeing Co. colluded on air-tanker leasing deals and messages that drew into question the relationship between former President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

'The Navy does not want to be the next 60 Minutes story,' Barth told an audience gathered yesterday at the Department of the Navy Enterprise IT Industry Symposium. 'We need to get control of our records management so if problems come, we're prepared.'

Barth said the Navy and EDS have to get the word out that the software is coming. To this end, Barth's office is preparing a 'TRIM roadshow' and will demo the software for system administrators and end users in the coming months.

In addition, Navy CIO Dave Wennergren is expected to release a policy memorandum mandating that commands hire or appoint a records manager to be in charge of training users on the system.

The move will put the Navy in compliance with the FRA, which mandates federal agencies to have a system in place to manage records and documents.

Navy officials hope the software will standardize document management, making information such as policy decisions and personnel records available to users at more than 300 sites.

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