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Australian government seeks new data centre providers

Written by Fri 12 Aug 2022

The Australian Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has announced a request that most data centre companies should be considered for the new whole-of-government data panel if they wish.

As of July 2023, government agencies must use accredited data centre providers on the new panel to host sensitive data systems. The DTA plans to spend approximately $100 million AUD per year on contracts under the new panel.

The new panel will replace the current panel of data centre service providers, and this is expected to begin early next year. Selected companies will provide data centre services, supporting the hosting and certification framework for all public services in Australia, as well as be responsible for innovation and sustainability across data centres.

The whole-of-government approach is an integral part of the Australian Government Data Centre Strategy 2010-2025. This recommended that government agencies aggregate demand for data centre services to advance the adoption of cloud computing and “drive substantial savings in cost and energy consumption; at the same time, it will improve service standards and increase the ability to cope with disruption.”

The DTA has also added a high-level requirement for the panel to offer prefabricated data centres as a category of procurement to data centre facilities. This was not a category that was required when the first panel was introduced.

The current data centre panel was created in 2014 and consists of 15 data centre providers. However, only half of the companies on the panel have achieved certification through the government’s Hosting Certification Framework.

To be considered for the new panel, a company must have HCF certification and register its infrastructure with the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre. And while they must meet the current requirements for offerings, the DTA has not ruled out making changes or additions to requirements in the future. “We may conduct separate approaches to market in the future for offerings in other categories. There is no limit to the number of categories that we may decide to add.”

The whole-of-government approach aligns with Australia’s recent decision to make sure that government data is stored within the physical borders of the country. Macquarie Government MD, Aidan Tudehope has said that “Ensuring sensitive information is kept within Australian borders is vital to protecting our national security and privacy interests.”

Written by Fri 12 Aug 2022


Australia data government infrastructure security
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