The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) will approach the market this month for the provision of secure internet gateway services for itself and up to 13 other agencies, in its capacity as a lead agency in Department of Finance and Deregulation’s Internet Gateway Reduction Program.
“The Department has prepared the tender documents and is completing final checks and approvals before releasing the tender to the market,” a DAFF spokesperson told Intermedium.
“The Department is aiming to release its gateway services request for tender in late September,” she said.
Any number of the ten suppliers certified to provide secure internet gateway services to the Federal Government, by the Defence Signals Directorate, will be able to respond to the tender.
The Department of Finance and Deregulation publicly unveiled its Internet Gateway Reduction Program in November 2010. The main objective of the program was to consolidate the number of Secure Internet Gateways in use across the Federal Government from 124 down to only eight over a four year period to reduce costs and enhance security against potential cyber attacks.
Cyber security was a major issue highlighted in the2009 Cyber Security Strategy, in which various counter-measures and strategies were unveiled.
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPC), which is one of the client agencies to obtain gateway services through DAFF, has already begun work the transition of its internet gateway infrastructure.
It has entered into a ‘transition-out’ extension to its $3.6 million contract with Macquarie Telecom, which covers the continued service provision of a secure internet gateway, in bid to tide them over until the installation of a new cross-departmental gateway at DAFF is complete.
“The Department has exercised its second option of a 12 month extension with Macquarie Telecom to handle the transition to the DAFF-led consolidated gateway covered under the Internet Gateway [Reduction] Program,” said a spokesperson for DSEWPC.
“It is not a new contract, but an extension of an existing contract, with a total estimated value of $3,590,000 for 5 years, to ensure continuity of service until such time as the DAFF-led gateway consolidation process is completed,” he said.
The 12 month extension is worth $950,000.
Dating back to June 2007, the original internet gateway contract with Macquarie Telecom was with the then Department of the Environment and Water Resources (which under various Machinery of Government Changes has become DSEWPC).
Under the Internet Gateway Reduction Plan, eight lead Government agencies were selected to deliver shared internet gateway services:
- Australian Customs and Border Protection Service;
- Australian Federal Police;
- Australian Taxation Office;
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry;
- Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relation;
- Department of Human Services; and
- Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
In April 2011, the Department of Defence became the first of the lead agencies to commence procurement for the Department of Finance and Deregulation’s Internet Gateway Procurement Program through a $52 million contract with Verizon.
The other agencies that are expected to procure secure internet gateway services through DAFF include:
- Australian Antarctic Division;
- Biosecurity Australia;
- Bureau of Meteorology;
- Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research;
- Australian Fisheries Management Authority;
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority;
- Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;
- Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism;
- Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities;
- Fair Work Australia;
- Geoscience Australia;
- Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority; and
- Wheat Exports Australia.