January 19, 2021

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Western Australia government signs common use deal with tech giant

The Government of Western Australia has signed a mandatory common use arrangement (CUA) with a US-based cloud giant. The arrangement, which leverages the Commonwealth’s Whole of Government Agreement for the tech giant’s public cloud services, means all public authorities must use the service or local partners as their exclusive source of supply for products and services included in the agreement.

The CUA covers the tech giant’s cloud computing services, enterprise support, professional services, training and certification, and AWS marketplace. Specific amendments to the Commonwealth whole of government agreement have been negotiated to meet WA’s requirements.

The Country Director for the cloud giant’s Public Sector in Australia and New Zealand stated that the arrangement will provide state and local government agencies with a consistent approach to procuring services and remove the need to negotiate separate contract terms.

He noted that with agencies and universities having the ability to access the firm’s services via the CUA, the firm’s partners can more easily build innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of Western Australian citizens,” he said in a statement last week.

The West Australian Regional Manager for the cloud giant’s consulting partner stated that the ability for WA’s government agencies to access cloud services via the new CUA would drive digital government services. Secure, reliable digital citizen services have been crucial for the continuing smooth operation of our society through 2020, he said.

CUAs are designed to harness the buying power of the government to achieve savings and reduce duplication across agencies.

The arrangement is in keeping with WA’s Digital Strategy, which commits to adopting cloud-based services where they are fit for purpose and deliver value for money.

It also comes after the state government in September 2020 announced it would provide $1.8 million to establish its first whole-of-government Cyber Security Operations Centre.

The centre would detect threats and boost cybersecurity resilience across government networks, innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly said. WA’s Office of Digital Government has released a cloud procurement framework including Cloud Procurement Practice Guidelines and a Cloud Procurement Strategy Template.

OpenGov Asia reported earlier that the Innovation and ICT Minister stated that the Cyber Security Operations Centre will significantly improve the visibility of cyber threats against agencies’ networks and the Government’s capability to detect and respond to cybersecurity incidents.

The centre also supports existing complementary efforts to improve cybersecurity resilience across government. It will also expand and complement the existing dedicated cybersecurity team within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s Office of Digital Government.

Staff in the new operations centre will be trained cybersecurity professionals, with the centre also offering further avenues of work and training for cybersecurity TAFE and university students participating in the Office of Digital Government’s work-integrated learning program.

The new operations centre will provide unprecedented visibility of threats against agencies’ networks, as well as improve the State Government’s ability to coordinate and respond to cybersecurity threats against its systems. The Cyber Security Operations Centre will create further jobs and opportunities for cybersecurity professionals in WA.

The Cloud Procurement Practice Guidelines provide information and practical advice to public authorities on the procurement pathways to source cloud and consumption-based Information and Communication Technology services.