The Federal Government has kicked off one aspect of a long-awaited purchasing initiative that will see it establish new panels of datacentre services providers, with the aim of saving $1 billion in future datacentre costs.
"I am pleased to announce that the Data Centre Facilities Request for Tender (RFT) to provide datacentre facilities under a panel arrangement has been released on AusTender," wrote Kayelle Wiltshire, director at the Department of Finance and Administration, on the GovSpace site last week.
The Australian Government Information Management Office, a division within the department, oversees centralised federal government technology procurement and strategy.
"Essentially, this is for the services to move datacentre equipment from one site to another," Wiltshire added. "This is not a general IT consultancy — it is highly specialised infrastructure work. The result of the tender process will be a panel of suppliers that government agencies must use for datacentre relocations."
The news represents a further step towards implementing the government's overarching datacentre strategy, which was revealed by then-Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner in March this year.
At the time, Tanner promised the government would not concentrate all of its resources in one giant datacentre. The plan is intended to cut as much as $1 billion out of the government's datacentre bill over the next 15 years. Currently, the overall cost stands at $850 million a year.
In June, again it was Wiltshire who released a draft request for tender, which will guide companies on how they will need to respond to the government's purchasing initiative and earn a spot on the panel of datacentre services providers.
In last week's tendering initiative, for the migration aspect of the services, Finance wrote that it was estimated that government agencies would need 12,000 square metres of space in the first five years of the strategy.
Finance is planning to evaluate responses to last week's release by 31 December this year, and is planning to finalise negotiations with successful suppliers by 31 January 2011.