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Council baulks at latest MEMSYS cash request

MEMSYS, the ICE's new membership database, needs another significant cash injection before it can become fully operational, Council heard last month.

Council members were asked to approve the release of another ú200,000 from ICE funds, which on top of the extra ú99,000 granted in September, takes the cost of the project to ú789,000.

When complete the database is expected to revolutionise the ICE's internal processes. Using information provided by members along with their annual subscriptions, the database will allow the ICE to build up a much more accurate picture of its members and their interests.

This information will then be used to inform members of events that would be of specific interest to them.

Finance director Ian Powney explained that although the software installation was now 95% complete, 'unforeseen problems with data conversion' meant that more cash was needed to implement all its features.

And he admitted that even with the additional payment there may still be some areas of functionality that do not get developed.

The news was met with disapproval from Council members who demanded more detailed information before deciding whether to grant the additional funds.

Cost increases have plagued the project ever since its previous incarnation ICECOLD was abandoned in 1999 at the cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds. The extra ú99,000 for MEMSYS has already been used up on the project, as announced to September's Council.

President Joe Dwyer told Council that the project will be subject to an independent review.

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