FedLink, a secure communications network for transactions between participating government departments and agencies has gone live.
Fifteen Federal Government agencies have signed up for the link, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Treasury.
With seven Federal Government agencies fully connected and operational, another eight are in the process of completing the formal requirements to implement the system.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is one of the first to be fully connected, according to the prime contractor, 90East which is managing and monitoring FedLink, while the National Office for the Information Economy maintains policy control through the FedLink Management Advisory Committee.
Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications, IT and the Arts, said using open IPSec standards, FedLink, "Provides Government agencies with a secure gateway-to-gateway authentication and encryption foundation for services including procurement and payment, which will ensure greater efficiencies and cost savings across all levels of government".
"It will facilitate savings through a reduction in dedicated infrastructure and provide for the transmission of confidential and sensitive data," he said.
As well as government-to-government, the link can also be used in government-to-business transactions.
FedLink will provide a higher level of protection for transactions via the Internet than some other methods previously used by government agencies. Agencies will pay a one-off connection fee, followed by a monthly support fee.
It is anticipated that many other government agencies will soon join the network.