Government to boost cloud services procurement panel

Begins refresh of cloud services panel

The government has invited service providers to tender for an expanded cloud procurement panel.

The government yesterday released the tender documents for a refresh of its whole-of-government cloud services panel, which covers SaaS, PaaS, IaaS as well as specialist cloud services.

The panel was initially launched in January 2015 and is set to continue until the end of March 2017, although the Department of Finance, which manages the panel, has options for four extensions of up to 12 months.

The refresh is an opportunity to add new providers as well as for existing members of the panel to increase the services they offer to government agencies and departments through the panel arrangement.

Currently the services offered by panel members are divided into nine categories, with limitations on the services offered by vendors based on those categories.

“Under the refreshed Cloud Services Panel, there will be no such limitations based on these categories,” tender documents state.

“While Finance may still use the concept of dividing Cloud Services into 'categories' for Panel administration purposes (eg for structuring the Service Catalogue, or requiring reporting from Panellists), this approach will not limit the Cloud Services that a Tenderer may include in its Tender, or that a Successful Tenderer may later request be included in the Service Catalogue.”

Effectively, members of the panel will be able to request that finance adds additional services to the service catalogue (providing they meet certain requirements related to the government’s definition of a cloud service).

There is no limit on the size of the panel. The Department of Finance revealed in July 2015 that the existing cloud services panel had set a record, becoming the largest ever whole-of-government procurement panel.

The initial tranche of 49 service providers on the panel was revealed in February 2015. The panel’s launch followed a government revamp in late 2014 of public sector cloud policy.

That policy said 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.

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