Government cloud panel sets record

Largest federal government ICT procurement panel

The federal government's cloud services panel has set a new record: It's the largest whole-of-government ICT panel to be established under the Department of Finance, according to Mundi Tomlinson.

The Department of Finance assistant secretary made the observation in a blog entry announcing the addition of three suppliers to the procurement panel.

Data#3, Interactive Intelligence Australia and Accenture have been added to the panel, Tomlinson said.

Around half of the members of the panel are SMEs, according to Tomlinson.

The cloud services panel was established in January, following a Request for Tender (RFT) process in September last year. More suppliers have been added to the panel throughout the year.

The initial tranche of suppliers for the panel was announced in February by finance minister Mathias Cormann.

More suppliers have been added periodically throughout the year.

The panel covers software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), as well as other related services, such as optimisation and integration.

The panel has an initial two-year term. However, that can be extended by another four years.

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It is not mandatory for agencies to use the procurement panel.

Last year the government issued an update to federal cloud computing policy.

Under the new policy, government agencies must adopt cloud where it is "fit for purpose, provides adequate protection of data and delivers value for money" when obtaining new ICT services or replacing existing services.

The policy covers all non-corporate Commonwealth entities.

"Data shows there has been only modest use of cloud services by government agencies to date," the policy states.

"Cloud procurements in AusTender have totalled approximately $4.7 million since July 2010, and the Data Centre as a Service multi-use list has reported cloud contracts totalling approximately $1.5m since October 2012.

"To put this in context, the Australian Government spends approximately $6 billion a year on ICT. These figures demonstrate that agencies have made limited progress in adopting cloud. A significant opportunity exists for agencies to increase their use of cloud services through the Australian Government Cloud Computing Policy."

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