The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has started the ball rolling on its Secure Australian Telecommunications and Information Network (SATIN) upgrade by issuing pre-release notices for a number of planned procurements related to the International Communications Network Program (ICNP).
The DFAT program stands out in what is an extremely quiet post-election period for Federal Government procurement.
DFAT received $216 million in the 2013-14 Federal Budget to be spent over the next five years for the ‘International Communications Network — upgrade’ to replace core elements of SATIN. The project is expected to be completed by 2017 and remain functional for between four and ten years beyond completion, meaning the next major upgrade for the network may be as far away as 2027.
A number of pre-release notices for the ICNP have been published in conjunction with details of an industry briefing to take place in Canberra on 10 October:
- Unified Communications, Telephony and Video Conferencing Capabilities;
- Global WAN Carriage Services;
- LAN/WAN Hardware Equipment;
- Multi-level Secure Infrastructure;
- ICT Service Desk & Related Support;
- ITSM Service Desk and Configuration Management Tools; and
- Secure Mobile Telecommunications.
The industry briefing will “outline the Department’s recently funded five year program…to modernise its core systems and infrastructure”. A half-day briefing over three sessions, it will cover:
- Session 1: ICT Overview
- Session 2: Wide Area Network Services pre-briefing
- Session 3: ICT Services and Support
The pre-release notices for unified communications, global WAN carriage services, LAN/WAN hardware equipment and multi-level secure infrastructure give an expected date for an Approach to Market (ATM) of 15 November 2013.
The ICT service desk, ITSM service desk and secure mobile telecommunications ATMs are due to be released on 15 February 2014.
A number of SATIN-related contracts are due to expire in the next two financial years.
The Department’s current Telecommunication Services contract with PacNet is due to expire in September 2014 (after exhausting all extensions). The $96.5 million deal included the international telecommunications bandwidth which SATIN operated on.
Fujitsu currently manages and supports the agency’s service desk in a contract that it has held since 2009. The deal has a total value of $11 million and includes desktop support of the SATIN environment. It is due to expire in November 2013 after DFAT extended the three year contract by a year in 2012.
DFAT has been impacted by the Coalition’s Machinery of Government (MOG) changes with previously autonomous agency AusAid to be incorporated into the Department. The fact that the pre-release notice has been issued so soon after the MOG changes suggests that in DFAT’s estimation, the ICNP procurement process will not be impacted by this MOG change.
The ICNP will support DFAT’s 3,832 employees in their communications with over 140 Australian sites domestically and overseas.
A spokesperson from the Department told Intermedium in August that the ICNP would lead to the “modernisation of DFAT ICT systems”, “greater connectivity, collaboration and secure information sharing” and “enhanced response to increasingly sophisticated cyber threats”.
For more information, please contact the Editor (02) 9955 9896.