November 1, 2005 6:56 AM PST
Mass. officials criticize OpenDocument decision
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its policy be rejected. He warned that a decision to go ahead with OpenDocument as a standard could result in the loss of electronic records.
"The rigid policy, such as the initiative before you that excludes any vendor or any process and relies on questionable, untested and unreliable practices or tools, does not suit the commonwealth well," Cote said in prepared remarks. "It may very well result in many electronic records being lost or destroyed."
Cote added that the state's records management system renders what format a document is saved in as moot.
In earlier comments, the IT Division counsel Hamel said the organization has become the de facto archivist of electronic records for executive agencies, keeping track of data such as payroll.
"The problem of how to solve (records management) has fallen into the lap of the IT Division and the secretary of finance and administration," Hamel said.
One government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Cote's harsh rebuke of the policy reflected a turf war between Secretary of State Galvin and the Secretary of Administration and Finance Thomas Trimarco. With the rise of electronic archives over traditional records, "(Galvin's) power is being eroded," the official said.
Pacheco said Cote's remarks echo the concerns of many other high-ranking state politicians.
"It verified what I've been hearing and my concerns, quite frankly," Pacheco said, adding that the IT Division has not operated in a "collaborative" fashion with other state agencies involved in setting IT policy.
He said he feared that the current situation has become a "stalemate" between the executive branch and legislature over how to set IT policy for the state.
Pacheco called on Quinn and Hamel to do a more thorough cost/benefit analysis and to submit a written analysis to explain the legal basis for the IT Division's policy.
Quinn said OpenDocument-based products do need to be improved to address people with disabilities. He noted that IBM and Sun in the coming weeks intend to launch an effort within OASIS to improve the standard in regards to accessibility.
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