L.A. City Hall's Move To Google's Free Gmail So Far A FAIL; Could Cost Nearly $2 Million

The city of Los Angeles was supposed to be using Google's Gmail webmail services by now, a controversial move announced nine months ago as a money saving measure that actually cost the city $1.5 million above it's old email contract with Novell.

The migration from Novell's email services to Google was supposed to be done by June 30, but the Los Angeles Police Department put on the brakes as a result of security concerns, according to MarketWatch. The delay could increase that amount to $2 million over what the city previously paid for email services.

In fact the delay could cost the city an extra $415,000, according to MarketWatch. Google has reportedly vowed to reimburse the city the cost of the delay, which it claims should only reach about $135,000.

Despite Google's development of a special "Gov Cloud" version of its services to address municipal security concerns, the LAPD isn't happy with the level of security provided by Google.

According to MarketWatch:

... the L.A.P.D., which must meet California Department of Justice security requirements, said in [a report to the city] that it had concerns about Google Apps' data encryption, "segregation of city data from other data maintained by Google," and background checks for Google employees with access to police department information.

Google has developed "Gov Cloud," a service that could provide enhanced security for the department's use of Google Apps, though certain issues remain, the department said in its report.

In addition, department employees who have been using the software on a pilot basis have experienced delays in receiving their mail, according to the report: "Given that the L.A.P.D. is a 24/7 operation, which relies upon email/Blackberry notifications for public-safety-related incidents across the city, these delays are not acceptable."


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