Tanner looks for interim datacentres

The Federal Government has called for expressions of interest for a panel of providers to supply datacentre space and services.

The Federal Government has called for expressions of interest for a panel of providers to supply datacentre space and services.

Razor: Gershon and Tanner

Sir Peter Gershon and Lindsay Tanner.
(Credit: Brian Hartigan)

Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said that the supply would fill the government's needs during the formation of its whole-of -government datacentre strategy, initiated in response to recommendations made in the Gershon report.

The report said that a whole-of-government approach to datacentres was required to prevent the government being forced into a series of ad-hoc investments over the next 15 years that could cost taxpayers over $1 billion more than it should.

"The Rudd Government is developing a comprehensive strategy to deliver the maximum benefit from our investment and utilisation of datacentre resources over the next 10 to 15 years," Tanner said in a statement. He said the development of the strategy would be considered by the government later in the year.

While the government nuts out the details, agencies have been restricted from updating or replacing their datacentres, despite the fact that some agencies are in urgent need for interim facilities, according to the expression of interest document.

The providers to be appointed to the panel will supply services to bridge the shortfall. Tanner pointed out that Gershon had said in his review that some agencies might need to access datacentre resources while the strategy found its feet.

Suppliers with datacentres inside or out of the ACT could apply if they had between 1000 and 2000 square metres of space ready for immediate fit-out. If the space was spread over more than one site, each site had to have at least 500 square metres. The providers will also need to be able to offer different tier levels to meet the needs of the different agencies.

Contracts with providers offering space inside the ACT would have a maximum term of two years plus one year extension, while contracts with those offering space outside the ACT would be for a minimum of five years, and extensions up to a maximum of five additional years.

The government hoped to have datacentres ready for occupation by agencies by September this year. The tender closes on 22 June.