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TRIM Context to support 2000 users under ‘FLAX programme’ to streamline efficiency and support NIO’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and Modernising Government Agenda

TRIM Context from TOWER Software is to be provided as the electronic document and records management product to support in excess of 2000 users at the Northern Ireland Office. The software will be provided as part of the ‘FLAX programme’, set up to improve the Department’s information systems and ensure its compliance with legal requirements and government policy guidelines.

A large proportion of the records held in the NIO’s existing office automation system, OASIS are unmanaged. Under the personal control of its users, the records are neither available to others nor safe from accidental deletion. There is also considerable duplication of documents that can lead to out-of-date, inconsistent and inaccurate records. The searching and retrieval of these documents has in turn become difficult and slow because computer storage space is unnecessarily filled.

The TRIM Context system will be installed by BT Solutions over the next five months. As a result, e-government deadlines should be met with precision and the NIO will also be well equipped to handle FoI enquiries from 1st January 2005.

TRIM Context has already been adopted by the Department for Trade and Industry, and the Department for Constitutional Affairs in Whitehall – as well as a further other Central Government departments in the UK. Tower Software’s EDRM system was the first to be approved against The National Archives (previously Public Records Office) revised 2002 functional requirements for electronic record management systems. Such sophisticated systems provide a wide range of metadata fields and indexes that can be used to classify records. For example, by customer, author, recipient, date created, date of contract, cost values, urgency etc, all of which allow users to view and group the available documents from the perspective that’s relevant to their work.

About TOWER Software
TOWER Software delivers Electronic Document and Records Management (EDRM) solutions, empowering organisations to take control of their vital information assets. TOWER Software’s award-winning TRIM Context solution is a single, integrated platform that manages business information throughout its complete lifecycle. By relying on its proven domain expertise, strong strategic partnerships and powerful solutions, TOWER Software enables organisations to maintain accuracy, maximise efficiency and achieve and maintain standards compliance across industries, resulting in sustained competitive advantage. TOWER Software is a privately held company with operations in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Established in 1985, TOWER Software serves nearly 1,000 customers in 32 countries worldwide. Its partners include Anite, BT, CAP Gemini, EDS, Hewlett Packard, LogicaCMG, Morse, Microsoft, Steria and Unisys. TOWER Software UK is based at TOWER House, Oakland Park, Wokingham, Berkshire RG41 2FD. Tel: +44 (0) 1189 771212, Web: www.towersoft.co.uk

About BT
BT Group plc is the listed holding company for an integrated group of businesses providing voice and data services in the UK and overseas, particularly in Europe, but also in the Americas and the Asia Pacific region. British Telecommunications plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc, holds virtually all businesses and assets of the BT group.

BT is one of Europe's leading providers of telecommunications services. Its principal activities include local, national and international telecommunications services, higher-value broadband and internet products and services, and IT solutions. In the UK, BT serves over 20 million business and residential customers with more than 29 million exchange lines, as well as providing network services to other licensed operators. BT consists principally of three lines of business:

· BT Retail, serving businesses and residential customers and including BT Openworld, one of the UK's leading ISPs.
· BT Wholesale, providing network services and solutions within the UK, including ADSL, conveyance, transit, bulk delivery of private circuits, frame relay and ISDN connections.
· BT Global Services, BT's managed services and solutions provider, serving multi-site organisations worldwide. Its core target market is the top 10,000 global multi-site organisations with European operations.

There are a number of other businesses within the BT group, including BT Exact, an internationally renowned centre of excellence in IT and networking technologies. It is also BT's technology and research and development business. In the year ended 31 March 2004, BT's turnover was £18,519million with profit before goodwill amortisation, exceptional items and taxation of £2,016million. For more information, visit www.bt.com

About NIO/Flax programme
For further information about the Flax programme visit www.flax.nio.gov.uk. The role of the Northern Ireland Office is to support the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in securing a lasting peace, based on the Good Friday Agreement, in which the rights and identities of all traditions in Northern Ireland are fully respected and safeguarded and in which a safe, stable, just, open and tolerant society can thrive and prosper.
During devolution, economic and social matters are the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Executive. It handles policy relating to agriculture and rural development; culture, arts and leisure; education; enterprise, trade and investment; environment; finance and personnel; health, social services and public safety; higher and further education, training and employment; regional development and social development. The NIO also has a number of agencies: the Northern Ireland Prison Service, the Compensation Agency for Northern Ireland and Forensic Science Northern Ireland. It also funds two legal offices: the Crown Solicitors Office and the Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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