In brief: Medicare, Dept. of Defence open tenders

Medicare to up secuity, privacy; Defence sets up ICT panel

Medicare is aiming to up the security and privacy capabilities of several of its core internal systems responsible for supporting secure transactions between health providers and the agency.

As part of a request for tender, Medicare Australia is seeking a ‘Gatekeeper accredited service provider’ to deliver a public key infrastructure (PKI) managed service for its Root Certification Authority (RCA) and its Organisation Certification Authority (OCA).

According to tender documents, a PKI consists of a hierarchy of trusted elements and subscribers. Within Medicare, these trusted elements are the RCA and OCA.

Medicare has provided an accredited national platform for supplying PKI services and digital certificates to Australian health professionals since 2001.

The organisation uses digital certificates to provide a means of proving an applicants’ identity in electronic transactions, and to ensure that electronic information received is authentic.

The need for PKI-enabled security and privacy solutions in the health sector is expanding with the rollout of a host of national programs, according to the tender documents.

PKI Services provide health professionals with a range of secure e-Business services such as Medicare Australia online claiming for health providers, Pharmaceutical Benefit Services (PBS) online claiming for pharmacies, and aged care online claiming.

Health professionals wishing to electronically do business with Medicare Australia are also required to have a Medicare Australia issued PKI certificate.

Medicare’s current IT environment includes approximately 5200 standard desktops, 900 Power desktops, 30 Standalone desktops, and 630 Notebooks. There are five SOE desktop environments operating within the Medicare Australia environment.

The agency also has a mix of small Windows-based servers, mid-range IBM P Series and RS/6000 servers based on Linux and AIX, and two IBM z900running the z/OS system. It operates two data centres based at Tuggeranong and Deakin and runs about 850 networked printers.

Defence sets ICT equipment panel

The Department of Defence has establish a panel of suppliers for its desktops, monitors, notebooks and thin client needs.

In tender documents Defence said that it required contractors to supply inventory or production capability, the maintenance, expansion and refresh requirements of Defence up to 2000 PCs, 550 notebooks, 1200 monitors per week.

However, Defence expects that its potential first year requirements under the panel will be 15,000 desktop PCs, 1500 notebooks, and 20,000 monitors.

Defence is looking to a panel of suppliers for an arrangement that is consistent with, and supports Defence’s ICT strategic industry engagement, acquisition and contracting framework, and so that it can streamline the procurement process, minimise administrative arrangements and assists in achieving project time-frames.

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