ASD considering outsourcing desktops – Strategy

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One of the country’s most secretive national security agencies, the Australian Signals Directorate, is taking the first steps towards outsourcing the management of its desktop environment.

The ASD has opened a request for information seeking “information on the extent of industry’s ability to provide desktop services that support information access at classifications up to Negative Vetting 1 and on some occasions TOP SECRET (TS).”

As explained in the RFI, desktop services are currently delivered by APS staff and contractors, with minimal managed service provider support.

“Via this RFI, ASD seeks to determine the extent to which MSPs could, on a more regular basis, augment the services currently provided by existing ASD-managed resources,” the RFI adds.

In its 2021 annual report, the ASD reported its staffing at just over 2300 full-time equivalent personnel.

The scale of the MSP opportunity is set to grow; in the federal government’s budget in March, it received a $10 billion windfall for Project REDSPICE, at least partly to add 1900 extra staff over the coming decade.

While the new federal government has said it is taking another look at the strategy, there was no indication that ASD’s staffing plans would be affected.

This is supported by the RFI, in which the ASD says: “ASD anticipates that there will be ongoing workforce and physical accommodation growth in the ACT region and interstate.”

The ASD said the aim of the current RFI is to “inform ASD’s requirements for a possible future quote or request for tender process.”

MSPs would be expected to provide desktop hardware provisioning and support, maintaining a single operating environment (SOE), and associated services, both in the ACT and interstate.

These services are currently delivered by the Technology Services Branch Endpoint Services Section of the ASD’s Enterprise Technology Division.

iTnews approached the ASD for comment. Further information on the RFI is available both from the government’s BuyICT site, and from the buyer contact listed on the RFI.



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