Offshore suppliers are eyeing up the contract for the State Services Commission's secure government intranet. They'll be up against the only local supplier capable of doing the job, 128i.
128i has been involved in a 30-user pilot for Treasury, the SSC and the Prime Minister's Department, but SSC deputy commissioner Ross Tanner says the company has been given no guarantees past the prototype.
The intranet will eventually link up to 2000 government users over a range of agencies.
A request for information, which closed last Friday, was aimed at companies which could provide certification services, Tanner says.
"We've had several indications of interest from offshore."
On the face of it, the project is probably worth well under $500,000. Because of the complexity of software and hardware, the cost of becoming a certification authority may run into millions of dollars.
It's unlikely a company is going to go to that expense to win what is relatively small business so the probable bidders will be those who already have certification services or access to them through multinational links.
The SSC plans to roll the system out in the second quarter to 600 users in the three core departments but still, in Tanner's words, has some big issues to deal with, including those of policy.