Shopping list

DTA is looking to add prefabricated data centers to the government’s shopping list

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) is seeking industry feedback on a new government-wide panel arrangement for the procurement of IT products and services for data centers.

The DTA plans to replace the current data center panel, which is due to expire in 2023, with a slightly expanded panel layout. Much like the current panel layout, the proposed panel will also consist of companies as vendors that the DTA believes will best represent value for money for the government.

Under the proposed arrangement, the DTA wants to expand data center provisioning to include a government-wide hosting strategy and hosting certification frameworks, more data center service offerings and reach for buyers, more innovation and sustainability, and enhanced security provisions.

In the DTA’s working paper for the proposed panel arrangement, the agency said it wanted to specifically include a high-level requirement for pre-engineered data centers when expanding the offering and scope of data services available to government. These pre-engineered data centers would be a separate procurement category for data center facilities, according to the tender documents.

As part of the DTA’s request for industry comment, they want to know whether the proposed arrangement would be relevant to current and future trends in data center systems and technologies, including solutions that would provide facilities modern systems using cooling, power, data center infrastructure management solutions, cabling and racking.

He also wants to know whether he has provided enough information for potential data center panel candidates to submit accurate prices on IT products and services, and whether there are other pricing variables that the government should take into account when creating the new panel arrangement. .

The government agency will accept submissions until December 17, 2021.

Late last year, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a report revealing that more than half of data center facilities contracts with Australian government agencies were with a single data center provider. .

Due to the high concentration of contracts with a single data center provider, ASPI warned that the government would face more data risks, reduced market flexibility, limited barriers to exit and reduced innovation. . Although the ASPI report did not identify the dominant supplier, the entity reports on public procurement for the financial year 2019-20 published on Austender suggests that the dominant vendor was Canberra Data Centres.

The report also pointed out that individual agencies have made many procurement decisions due to the lack of a whole-of-government approach to data security, creating “unnecessary vulnerability for government data” and “fragmentation” .

“Despite the intent of the DTA Data Center Facilities Supplies Panel, the current panel arrangements impose a heavy responsibility on individual departments and agencies to identify and mitigate data center risks in the absence of government-wide oversight,” the DTA said. ASPI at the time.

Related coverage