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[January 19, 2014]
`MySikap specifications outdated' [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: AN oversight by the Road Transport Department (RTD) in 2005 in laying out the specifications for its much-maligned MySikap online system is costing the government additional expenses for a new mainframe computer to support the system.
The Transport Ministry has until the end of March to buy the IBM Z12 mainframe, costing RM178 million.
Failure to do so would result in RTD having to foot RM1.9 million in rental fees a month for the servers it is using to support the system.
MySikap, which cost the government RM282 million, was rolled out on Nov 1 last year to replace the SIKAP system, which could only carry out 30 per cent of its transactions online.
However, two weeks into its implementation, the system failed because of insufficient capacity to cope with the large number of transactions.
Heitech Padu, the vendor that secured the tender, and IBM Malaysia were roped in to support MySikap until a new mainframe is acquired.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told the New Straits Times that the specification laid out in 2005 did not take into account new and major transactions RTD introduced in the last two years.
"The Automated Enforcement System (AES) is one of the transactions that was not taken into account when the system was opened for tender.
"RTD, in the meantime, is taking measures to settle the problem. At the same time, the ministry is trying to expedite the purchase of the new mainframe as it involves public interest." The system was acquired in 2005 and its cost covered user specification study, the purchase and installation of the infrastructure, and maintenance costs.
A source close to the ministry said the mainframe acquisition needed to be finalised soon or there was a possibility of the system crashing from capacity failure.
"The system is at an acceptable speed but the government needs a permanent solution to the problem fast as the system carries out numerous transactions.
"The mainframe we are using is at the capacity of 1,112 mips (million instructions per second).
"We need a mainframe that can cater up to 1,750 mips, after taking into account the 500,000 new drivers a year and approximately 1.6 million transactions using MySikap." Mips is a general measure of computing performance and the amount of work a computer can do. For large servers or mainframes, mips is a way to measure the cost of computing: the more mips delivered for the money, the better the value.
"At the point of system procurement back in 2005, the system requirement was very limited and it was underestimated. We were not aware of the many new transactions that we plan to introduce soon.
"This added to the capacity required to run the system smoothly." The source said the loaned servers by IBM had to be returned by March 31.
The transactions to be added to MySikap once it is stabilised are e-bidding for licence plates, one-stop centre for buying vehicles, a system for driving schools where drivers can obtain licences at their institutes and other RTD transactions.
RTD director-general Datuk Ismail Ahmad said the procurement of the new system should be expedited.
"The procurement process will take some time but we have identified several short- and long-term measures to be taken in case the mainframe purchase takes longer than expected.
"We can expect a hiccup-free system by June once the purchase is completed.
"However, it is subject to allocations." Last week, RTD introduced a drop-off and pick-up service at 11 critical branches in the Klang Valley to ease the congestion of transactions.
The extended service had enabled the public to pick up their driving licences and renewed road tax in the evening after dropping off the documents for processing in the morning.
Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had promised a series of transformations at the ministry starting this year, including an overhaul of RTD.
On Nov 30 last year, car dealers saw a 30 per cent drop in sales since the introduction of MySikap, as there were problems with registering new cars, which in turn caused a backlog in car delivery.
RTD had also announced that its counters would be opened every Saturday until the end of February to help ease the congestion.
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