Federal Government opens up to smaller cloud deals

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Federal Government opens up to smaller cloud deals
Cloud puzzle

Develops guidelines for deals worth up to $80,000.

Federal agencies may be able to use a multi-use list (MUL) of suppliers instead of more stringent panel arrangements when sourcing cloud services worth up to $80,000, under plans unveiled by AGIMO this week.

The Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) has published a draft plan to establish a non-mandatory MUL of data-centre-as-a-service (DCaaS) providers.

AGIMO's first assistant secretary John Sheridan explained yesterday that AGIMO aimed to "ensure that agencies can consume new services as they become available".

"We have determined that a standard panel approach will not meet this requirement," he wrote.

According to the AGIMO document (pdf), suppliers will pay a registration fee of up to $250 to be included in the DCaaS MUL, which will target "the smaller 50 percent" of Government agencies.

AGIMO said the fee would fund financial viability checks of suppliers.

Suppliers will characterise their infrastructure-, platform- and software-as-a-service offerings in a “quantifiable manner”, to be viewed by agencies in a searchable, online catalogue of services.

Projects may be worth a maximum of $80,000 and span up to 12 months to be eligible for using the MUL. Guidelines for larger projects will be considered in a review next year.

Unlike whole-of-government ICT panels, inclusion on an MUL will not imply that the Australian Government endorses the use of any supplier's product or service.

Agencies will be responsible for "conducting a procurement process", including demonstrating value for money and, obtaining multiple quotes where relevant.

Joining the list

AGIMO plans to issue a request for Applications for Inclusion (AFI) on the MUL on AusTender by the end of June 2012. Successful suppliers will be announced in October.

AFIs may also be submitted at any time during the life of the MUL, which will be updated each quarter.

The MUL will be managed by AGIMO, operational for 24 months and reviewed 12 months after its implementation.

Sheridan wrote that the proposed DCaaS approach was informed by 34 companies that met with AGIMO's cross-agency reference group and others that submitted written responses.

AGIMO has invited comments on its proposed approach until 30 April.

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