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Tight checks for database tender

ICE news

ICE has gone out to tender on the contract to design and manage the new ICE membership database MEMSYS, Council was told last month.

MEMSYS replaces the ICECOLD system which failed to meet ICE expectations and was subsequently abandoned last year (NCE 23 September 1999).

MEMSYS will be used to retain and update membership records. It will also help to improve activities such as professional development, technical affairs and local meetings. A quesionnaire will be sent out to members to gain a better understanding of their technical interests. With improved knowledge of the composition of membership, the ICE can monitor and act upon trends.

Concern was voiced in Council as to whether safeguards are being put in place should there be problems with the new system. ICE chief executive Mike Casebourne assured Council that the process of setting up the system is robust.

He said that all recommendations must be endorsed by the Steering Group which consists members from the executive board, the TTL board and the chief executive. The development of the systemwill also be monitored at a high level by an independent client adviser who will protect ICE interests.

The specification includes performance measurements which caused some potential suppliers to think deeply, Casebourne said. And before any deal is signed it will be double checked by ICE's sollicitor. Casebourne said 'I don't feel that there is any more we could do to secure our position.'

President George Fleming said 'Be assured that the debacle of ICECOLD is behind us. This new system will work.'

The MEMSYS system is planned to be operational by 28 April. It should last for ten years after which time it will be replaced.

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