SA government inks multimillion dollar software deal

The South Australian Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology is implementing an electronic document and records management system for its 4000 employees.

The department has signed a contract for software and services worth more than $2 million with Tower Software.

The system, known as Trim Context, is being implemented to meet the department's obligations under the State Records Act 1997, which requires agencies to meet document and records management practices outlined in the State's Adequate Records Management Standard 2002.

With a deadline of June 2006 to comply with the State Records Act the department acquired the Trim Context solution as the key infrastructure in metting this goal.

Elaine Bensted, the department's executive director of shared business services, said it will completely replace manual systems as most of the agency's records are currently paper-based.

"Different areas of the department sometimes create copies so they have easy access to a document," Bensted said. "This system will mean we do not have to do that any more."

Now the department will scan selected paper documents, and integrate desktop productivity software and line of business applications so that every document it creates will be managed as a single Trim database.

The software will initially be deployed in a 300-user pilot due for completion in June 2005, and by June 2006, 4000 users throughout the department will use the software to store and manage almost every document created.

"The goal is to also increase collaboration by using the workflow tool. It also means when we process correspondence our staff can e-mail their response internally and we will know who has the document, whether they have read it and when staff should reply by," Bensted said.