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LAPD questions Google Apps security credentials

Huge roll out hits delay

Google has reportedly missed a deadline to fully implement Google Apps into the city of Los Angeles' various departments by the end of last month.

As a result, the ad broker might have to shell out $135,000 to complete the upgrade of LA's computer system from Novell tech to its email and collaboration software.

MarketWatch, which revealed the delay in a report last Friday, cited LA's tech boss Randi Levin confirming that Google would have to reimburse the city for the extra costs incurred.

According to the report, LA police expressed security concerns about Google Apps, which led to a delay in having all the authority's systems upgraded nine months after Google won the $7.25m deal over rival Microsoft.

Earlier this month city council members complained about costs overrunning because Google had failed to deliver on time. They were originally told that the delay could cost around $415,000 to set straight.

However, Google told MarketWatch late last week, alongside its partner Computer Sciences, that the cost incurred by the two firms would total about $135,000.

To date 10,000 LA city staff have been shifted over to Google Apps. Another 6,000 workers can expect the move in mid-August. But "a more detailed schedule" is needed for upgrading around 13,000 members of the LAPD to Google Apps.

"We've had a lot of technical issues, some we've created and some we haven't," Levin told MarketWatch. "We underestimated the amount of time it was going to take."

When Novell was spurned by the city in October, it warned that Google's Apps system should be cause for concern.

"Like the LA Police department and others, we continue to doubt the economics and security of the City's decision to move to a Google system," Novell wrote in a blog post.

"The City Council was presented with clear evidence that Google posed a very significant risk to the security of the City and citizen data, much of it highly confidential. In addition, independent financial data showed that the new system will actually cost more, not less." ®

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