GDS seeks supplier to map PSN-migration best practice

Research programme to explore how moves to the internet can be made to best effect

The Government Digital Service is to undertake a research project which aims to discover how public-sector bodies should migrate away from the outgoing Public Services Network (PSN) to best effect.

Some 16 months have passed since GDS declared that “the internet is OK”, and that the vast majority of the public sector’s network connections could – and should – be migrated from PSN to the internet.

To help ensure that such migrations are timely and effective, the government is now looking to conduct interviews with suppliers and users to find out how projects should be conducted in a way that ensures the most commercial benefit, with minimum impact on security and functionality.  The research initiative will also explore how the public sector can move away from PSN in a way that fosters a healthy marketplace, while allowing departments to best work together.

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GDS has published a contract notice on the government’s Digital Marketplace seeking a supplier to help roll out the Discovery and Alpha phases of the research project. The Discovery phase will involve researching the network and security needs of public sector users, as well as the current trends shaping technology and the commercial marketplace.

The Alpha phase will focus on the creation of tools for automating the testing and eventual deployment across the public sector of common standards, patterns, and services. At the end of this phase, the chosen supplier will also be required to provide a report detailing the findings of the research to that point, and recommending what work should take place during the subsequent Beta phase.

The five-month project, which is due to commence on 2 July, will be worth up to £380,000 to the winning bidder.

The chosen supplier will join “a small team of civil servants” containing representatives of GDS and the National Cyber Security Centre. Work will be run primarily from the supplier’s own premises, with research mostly taking place in London – although some national travel will be required.

Bids are open until 28 May, after which GDS intends to evaluate up to four suppliers.


Sam Trendall

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