$30m Corrections project runs into trouble

The well publicised Department of Corrections $30 million systems replacement project is in big trouble. It's yet another example of a government project not well defined nor properly scoped. Prime contractor EDS seems to be in almost as much trouble within its $10 million component of the project. EDS has responsibility for rolling out an enterprise-wide Microsoft solution - Office, Exchange and SMS. But, industry sources say, EDS has documented nothing. It's a white-board solution. There are, the sources say, gaps in the architecture through which you could drive a Mack truck.

The well publicised Department of Corrections $30 million systems replacement project is in big trouble.

It’s yet another example of a government project not well defined nor properly scoped.

Prime contractor EDS seems to be in almost as much trouble within its $10 million component of the project.

EDS has responsibility for rolling out an enterprise-wide Microsoft solution — Office, Exchange and SMS. But, industry sources say, EDS has documented nothing. It’s a white-board solution. There are, the sources say, gaps in the architecture through which you could drive a Mack truck.

That may be so, but the department has yet to sign off on any of the major contracts.

Take the network, for example. Nobody at Corrections can get an email feed, we’re told, because there isn’t enough bandwidth. Lots of 19.2 and 9.6-baud rates get you email delivery overnight. It’s a major bone of contention with Microsoft, which is not to blame but is copping the thick end of the stick just because it’s involved.

Microsoft has another problem. As a senior partner in large projects, it makes its consulting services readily available. Our sources say that a concerned Microsoft met with the department and EDS in mid-November, particularly concerned about the bandwidth problem.

Neither Corrections nor EDS has since responded to telephone calls from Microsoft.

Of course, Microsoft won’t admit that. Microsoft national sales manager John Hodgson says, diplomatically, only that “Microsoft has made itself available to both the vendor and Corrections but has yet to become involved”. He might as well have said that EDS is due to begin deployment on December 8 after missing the proof of concept date in November.

The network problem is interesting. Network company Loka was originally involved, but government sources say Corrections is playing political games with Netway.

In the meantime, nobody has email. And not much else is happening.

Computerworld tried to contact Corrections IS manager Bob Callend but he wasn’t available within deadline time.

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