Email program scrapped, saving millions

Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts
The Honourable Ros Bates

Email program scrapped, saving millions

The Newman Government has announced the scrapping of the Identity, Directory and Email Services (IDES) program.

The Minister for Information Technology Ros Bates said the $47.3m IDES program should never have been approved in the first instance.

“The central problem with IDES was that it never represented good value for money and Departments could source alternative products,” Ms Bates said.

The program was announced by Labor in 2007 and was supposed to deliver a centralised email, identity management and authentication service for the Queensland Government.

IDES was projected to garner 80,000 email accounts by 2010, however only 3100 users had begun using the service by June 2012.

“The Auditor General termed IDES a financial and functional disaster, in large part because there was no effective oversight of its implementation,” she said.

Minister Bates said the lack of users across Government was one of the major reasons for CIT EC’s poor financial position.

A Departmental review of IDES recently concluded that a further investment of $25 million over the next three years would be required to make it viable. The program will be closed by 30 June 2012.

“I have recommended that we stop IDES and explore other options including a potential cloud-based whole-of-Government email solution,” she said.

Minister Bates said a cloud-based solution could provide benefits for the Government’s short-term cash flow position and could also provide a sustainable long-term option from a technological perspective.

“A cloud-based solution doesn’t require a large capital investment and provides an effective way to manage a commodity-based information technology service,” she said.

Minster Bates said existing IDES users would be supported until a replacement was established.