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L.A. may sue over delays in Google Apps project, report says

Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld | April 15, 2011
Google on Thursday downplayed a report that the city of Los Angeles is considering legal action against it due to delays in implementing a much touted $7.2 million contract to replace Novell GroupWise applications with the Google Apps for Government hosted email and office applications platform.

In the notice, Levin said that Google and CSC had "repeatedly committed" to meeting certain deadlines for implementing both the LAPD's security requirements and the FBI's requirement that the Google Apps for Government system be compliant with its Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) standards.

Despite such assurances, CSC and Google failed to meet the deadlines on several occasions, Levin had noted in the letter sent to David Beach, senior principal contract administrator at CSC.

In fact, she noted, CSC had asked for an additional 12 to 18 months, and indicated that it might be necessary to ask "the DOJ and FBI to amend or reinterpret the current CJIS policy ... CSC and Google's behavior goes beyond a mere failure to communicate in a timely manner, and instead, on several occasions, has risen to the level of misrepresentation," Levin said in the notice.

According to Levin's notice, the failure to deliver on schedule had forced the LAPD to move about 1,900 users who had migrated to Google's new email system back to the old GroupWise platform. The delay also caused the LAPD to postpone its planned migration of 4,000 more users to the new system by October, 2010. Levin also criticized the two companies for functionality problems with the electronic subpoena system which could have "significant public security ramifications."

Kovacs downplayed the memo, describing it as "inaccurate and out of date."

"The City has asked us to meet new requirements that were not part of the original contract and which required work to implement in a cloud computing environment," he said, adding that 16,000 LA city employees are using Google Apps today.

Kovacs added that the city submitted a change order to CSC seeking compliance with the CJIS requirements.

Google and CSC are working with the city to implement the CJIS requirements, he added. "We have been paying the additional costs associated with keeping the LAPD on Groupwise and we are going to cover those costs. This is not resulting in additional cost to the taxpayer," Kovacs said.

Kovacs said that Google is breaking new ground by trying to making Google Apps for Government compliant with CJIS standards. All U.S. state, federal and local government agencies adopting Google Apps in the future "will be able to enjoy the benefits of the expertise we've developed with this project," he said.

The CSC spokesman added that 30 out of 40 city departments have so far been successfully migrated to Google Apps.

In an email statement, the CSC spokesman said that LAPD employees have not yet migrated to Google Apps because of necessary, additional security requirements that the department needs to work within the larger U.S. law enforcement community. "These new requirements were not included in CSC's contract with the City and were not specified in the City's RFP for this project," the spokesman added.

 

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