Irish Govt CIO scrapped cloud project because services were not up to standard

30 Mar 2015

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The Irish Government’s CIO scrapped its version of the UK’s G-Cloud because a large number of the responses to its tender did not meet the standards required. Instead, a less complex Government cloud is planned.

Last week, it emerged that the Government Cloud Services Catalogue (GCSC) which would have connected government departments with approved cloud service providers was to be scrapped.

The GCSC was intended to be a central hub in the State’s Public Services ICT strategy and was modeled on the UK’s G-Cloud, which has netted sales of stg£516m to cloud providers since it was launched a year ago.

The GCSC would have linked approved cloud service providers with local authorities, the Defence Forces, An Garda Siochana, schools and health bodies across the State.

Pre-approved applications in terms of productivity, HR, security and payroll would have been accessible on demand.

It is understood that more than 100 cloud providers had bid to be included in the GCSC since it was proposed in 2013.

The decision to cancel the GCSC was taken by the Office of the Government CIO (OGCIO) Mike McGrath, who took over the role from Bill McCluggage last year.

Meeting standards

“The Office of the Government CIO, having evaluated the responses received in relation to the Request for Tender (RFT) to establish a catalogue, determined that the services offered would not align to the objectives set out in the new Public Service ICT Strategy,” the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said in response to questions from Siliconrepublic.com.

“In addition, a significant proportion of the responses received did not meet the standards set out in the RFT and therefore the framework would not have met the needs of either party.”

However, while the GCSC has been cancelled, the CIO of the Irish Government clearly intends to come up with a replacement model for connecting State bodies and departments with essential cloud services.

“A number of discrete frameworks will be brought to the market for cloud services which will be aligned to the priorities of the ICT Strategy.  

“These will include the necessary technical components required to allow Public Service bodies to securely connect, authenticate users and control their data in a cloud environment.

“Focusing on critical services delivered through a number of suppliers will provide better integration and ensure that additional complexity is not added to an already complex environment,” the department said.

Government buildings Dublin image via Shutterstock

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com