Parliament seeks better disaster and data recovery

The Australian Department of Parliamentary Services has said it needs to improve its disaster and data recovery capability after a power outage in its data centre last week.

Following a power outage in the Parliament House data centre, the Department of Parliamentary Services has said it needs to improve disaster recovery and data management.

The issue was highlighted by the department's acting secretary Dr Dianne Heriot in a Budget Estimates hearing on Monday.

In the Budget, the agency has been given AU$3.031 million to improve IT security in parliament, and an additional AU$7.7 million for improved network and IT security for the electorate offices of members of parliament.

Heriot said that in addition to that, the department was now looking at funding for disaster recovery management.

"Last week's power outage in the Parliament House ICT data centre has highlighted the need for better practice data recovery capability for parliamentary IT services," she said.

"We are looking as a matter of priority within our current budget as to what we can do to improve our disaster recovery capability."

A spokesperson for the department told ZDNet that the power outage occurred on Friday night during scheduled maintenance.

"No data was lost during the outage. It occurred during a scheduled maintenance of the Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system and all Parliamentary Computer Network (PCN) users had been advised of a planned service disruption to 3am. All core ICT services were restored within two hours," the spokesperson said.

DPS has responsibility not only for the IT in parliament but also the IT for members and senators in their electorate offices. DPS has established a one-stop IT shop to allocate mobiles, computers, and set up email accounts.

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