WA education splurges $1M on content management

New knowledge systems for govt, TAFE and schools

The Western Australia Department of Education and Training has spent more than $1 million on a new Content Management System (CMS) to control its sprawling records databases.

The department has around 4000 corporate staff and oversees the state's network of 785 schools with some 36,000 students, and 10 TAFE colleges with 50 campuses.

Information management and corporate systems branch manager John Kay said the department's old CMS could not sufficiently handle data lifecycle management.

“Our records compliance and reuse was declining every year. To deliver to our expanded customer base of 36,000 users [using the old system] our records team would have to grow from 42 staff to over 700,” Kay said.

“Our backups used to run from Friday night into Saturday afternoon. There was no information lifecycle management [and] IT was keen to delete information from the network but found it difficult knowing what could be deleted.

“The records management unit no longer owns and administers the system; records staff are now end users [who] perform all document and file creation,” he said.

The department purchased a further 2000 licenses of the Hewlett Packard Trim Context platform to roll out the software across the department and TAFEWA.

The department can now re-provision the 800 new staff identities and access rights required each day by migrating staff, according to Kay, since the software was integrated into its PeopleSoft human resources system. Corporate information can be tracked and pulled off non-compliance drives, and stored in accordance with the WA State Records Act.

The software also hooks into a staff directory, a traineeship records system, and will be integrated with the department's complaints management system and Oracle databases.

Kay said the department is considering a solution to help the state's schools manage their electronic and hard copy database records.

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