Services Australia extends Hume data centre lease with CDC

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Services Australia extends Hume data centre lease with CDC

Decade-long deal now worth $295 million.

Services Australia has extended its main data centre lease with Canberra Data Centres, bringing the cost of facility access to $295 million over the last decade.

The 15-month extension was revealed last week, when the services agency published a $188.9 million deal with CDC for its primary data centre facility at Hume in Canberra.

The contract notice was disclosed followed inquiries from iTnews about changes to Services Australia’s previous contract with the data centre provider, which dates back to May 2012.

That original contract – which expired at the end of November 2021 – had its value reduced from $223.7 million to $106.1 million late last month.

iTnews understands the value was amended so to accurately reflect the total value of the deal following the publication of the new contract.

Together with the new contract, the value of the Services Australia and CDC relationship for the Hume facility now sits at $295 million between December 2011 and February 2023.

However, it is unclear why the new contract was published six months after the former contract expired.

The Commonwealth procurement website AusTender also indicates that the new contract began in July 2016 – almost six years before the contract was published.

Under Commonwealth Procurement Rules, agencies have up to 42 calendar days from the time the contract is entered into to report the details on AusTender.

A Service Australia spokesperson did not answer iTnews's questions about when the contract with CDC was extended or why there was a delay in publishing the contract notice.

“Our contracts are established through standard procurement processes in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules,” the spokesperson said.

“We always aim to publish contract notices on AusTender within the required timeframe.”

Services Australia also holds a separate contract with CDC for its Fyshwick data centre, valued at $13.5 million.

The new federal government has vowed to improve the disclosure of contracts on AusTender, including more detailed descriptions.

It follows a number of instances over the years where agencies have failed to report contracts in line with the rules, including an almost year-long delay with one Digital Transformation Agency contract.

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