Government Computing

Eighteen months after the Government Digital Service (GDS) said ‘The Internet is OK’, thus signalling a move away from the Public Services Network (PSN), it now wants to prove the point.

According to an opportunity posted on the Digital Marketplace, GDS is planning a private beta and beta project to understand it can move away from PSN to use networks in the future.

The opportunity discusses the work, outlining how the government can migrate from PSN cost effectively, while maximising commercial services, maintaining a strong marketplace, delivering measurable security, and supporting working across organisational boundaries.

The project will gather and test evidence via beta testing, interviews with consumers and suppliers, to test and prototype how government can best adopt standards for future networks, the opportunity said.

The deadline for asking questions is next Monday, October 8, with a closing date for applications of Monday, October 15. The work has a budget range of up to £250K.

The opportunity says, “It’s been over 18 months since GDS blogged that the ‘internet is OK’ and that government would be moving away from the Public Services Network (PSN). But we still need ways to ensure public sector organisations connecting to the internet get the continuous and consistent service quality and security they need.

“This project will build upon and test the discovery and alpha work undertaken to test standards and develop guidance. The tested standards and guidance must be easily adoptable by service providers, and their implementation and effectiveness must be measurable through automated means.”

GDS is looking for a team to deliver the private beta and beta phases.

For the private beta phase, it wants to test the alpha standards at the network level for communications and security within and between public sector organisations, as well as test how public sector organisations can benefit quickly and continuously from standards implementation, improvements, whilst maintaining a consistent level of protection

Foer the beta phase, it wants to establish and test an automated mechanism for ensuring that the selected standards, architectural patterns, guidance and services are being tested and deployed effectively, and expects a final report summarising the findings of the Private Beta/Beta and recommending the work that should be undertaken during the Beta/Live phase.

Discussing who the users are and what they need to do, the opportunity states, “As a public sector organisation worker, I need a modern, cost effective and secure way to communicate across all public sector organisations to let end-users and systems work reliably, easily and securely with one another particularly across organisational boundaries. I also need the adoption of commercially available network services that can evolve as technology moves forward, maintaining a strong marketplace of potential service providers.”

GDS has already completed a Discovery/Alpha to understand how to move away from PSN to use networks in the future, and said the discovery finding report will be shared with shortlisted suppliers.

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