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High speed network to assist govt depts

4 August 2005

High speed network to assist govt depts

Government agencies will share resources over a high-speed secure network in a major new $14 million e-government initiative announced today by State Services Minister Trevor Mallard.

The government shared network will use internet technology to improve inter-agency collaboration, reducing unnecessary costs and duplication. It will comprise two components: a fibre-optic network linking agencies in Wellington, and a wide area network linking regional government offices and secure Internet services.

The State Services Commission is leading the $14 million project, in partnership with other agencies.

“Our government is committed to building a strong public service for New Zealanders. The network will enable agencies working together to work smarter. It will also improve the internal effectiveness of agencies and the efficiency of communications between agencies - and that means better value for New Zealanders," Trevor Mallard said.

“For instance, a government department that currently couriers large data files across Wellington on magnetic tapes will be able to shift these files across a fibre-optic connection which will make that job quicker, cheaper and easier,” Trevor Mallard said.

“We expect that all state sector agencies will be connected to the shared network in some way by March 2008. Now is a good time for agencies to come on board, as their input in the early stages will help ensure their differing needs are met,” Trevor Mallard said.

Agencies will access a range of standard applications on the network, as well as secure phone and Internet services. Under the initiative, it is likely that agencies that adopt the network will also collectively negotiate better deals in the telecommunications industry. This is expected to reduce the unit costs paid for services.

Smaller agencies will have access to high-cost, high-quality applications that have previously been beyond their individual budgets.

The State Services Commission issued a registration of interest today inviting telecommunications suppliers to register for the procurement process, planned to commence in early September.

ENDS

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