The State Services Commission expects to finalise a procurement process in the first half of this year to replace the Government Shared Network, which has been pronounced financially unsustainable.
“The transition will be complete by the end of 2009,” says SSC spokesman Jason Ryan.
“We have invited other interested agencies to join the collective procurement process. We want to confirm the set of interested agencies by this date, to ensure a successful completion of the transition to a new provider/s.
“The cost depends on the size of the agency and the number of connections they have. Transition costs (and, more generally, whole-of-life costs) will form part of the evaluation criteria.
“Our intention is to move all agencies to a single secure provider to preserve the existing secure connectivity and drive savings for agencies in the long term.”
The GSN project has been losing $700,000 a month since it became operational in September 2007.
There are currently two inquiries into the GSN: one by Pricewaterhouse Coopers into the network; the other into the cost and value of services provided by Voco in architecting the network. State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie appointed Neil Walter to lead the second inquiry in December and also made the inquiry independent.
In 2006, IBM was chosen to supply network management and service delivery to GSN.
Sources claim that because of limited uptake by government agencies, IBM had 15 dedicated staff managing little more than 200 machines.
Neither IBM nor the SSC will comment on suggestions that IBM has been penalised for not meeting certain service level agreements. Ryan says the matter is “commercial in confidence”.