Wolverhampton City Council is rolling out a secure e-mail system for internal communications between council departments and external communications with 400 local schools.
The council plans to use Tumbleweed Communication's Secure Redirect service to ensure that sensitive e-mails are directed to organisations through a secure encrypted message channel.
“Wolverhamption City Council is making strong progress in meeting the 2005 e-government deadline. A critical component in moving services online is having a secure and robust e-mail system,” said Fahri Zihni, IT director at Wolverhampton City Council and former president of local authority IT managers’ association Socitim.
The system analyses e-mails sent from council departments and automatically encrypts those which appear to contain sensitive content or financial information such as payroll details.
The e-mails arrive as normal in the recipient’s in-box. The user clicks on the e-mail and is transferred to a secure site which allows them to read the message and to send an encrypted reply.
The council plans to roll the system out to 120 schools which exchange data on pupils and teachers with the Wolverhampton local education authority central database by the end of next month.
It also plans to use the system in its payroll department to transfer details securely to external agencies and suppliers following a series of trials.
“Secure Redirect has aided our time management as we can now receive and process information more quickly than with the traditional mail methods we previously employed,” said Margaret Evans, payroll services manager.