Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Date: Friday, 27 November 2015
Following consideration of an independent scoping study into the future ownership options for the Intra Government Communications Network (ICON), the Government has made a decision to retain ownership.
At this time, a potential sale or lease would not represent value for money for the Government.
The scoping study found that ICON provides significant value to the Government as a strategic asset and is highly valued by Government agencies for its low cost and high volume bandwidth, which facilitate the provision of secure cost effective telecommunications services.
ICON could also potentially play a central role in enabling broader whole-of-Government technology solutions in the future, such as cloud-based services.
The scoping study also found that 17 out of the 34 agencies already running protected networks, use encryption over ICON. Remaining agencies will be moving toward encryption over time.
The Government supports and will act on a number of recommendations made by the scoping study to enhance the value of ICON, including:
- developing a technology strategy, which considers ICON’s potential role within a whole of government ICT framework
- introducing service level agreements to clearly define the level of service and improve on delivery;
- reviewing the internal financial arrangements to provide for future funding for strategic investment needs; and
- improving governance arrangements to address due diligence issues such as property access rights, carrier licence exemption, third party use of ICON and title issues.
The Government has commenced a program of work to implement these recommendations.
Karen Wu - 0428 350 139