The Department of Human Services has completed its data centre consolidation project, opening a new facility that it claimed will save taxpayers $24.5 million in leasing costs over the next 10 years.
The data centre in Fyshwick, Canberra – opened today by communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull and human services minster, Marise Payne – will be shared by federal government agencies to streamline spending.
In early 2012, the department's data holdings were spread out across seven facilities in Bruce, Hume, Tuggeranong, Canberra data centre (also in Tuggeranong) and Deakin, as well as two interstate facilities in Brisbane, and Ultimo, Sydney.
Minister Turnbull said the building is nearly entirely self-sufficient with its water requirements due to a water retention system, and LED lighting system that ensures power isn’t used unnecessarily.
“The security and reliability offered by this new facility means the government is in a strong position to expand the services offered through its various digital channels and provide services to various Commonwealth agencies,” he said.
Minister Payne added that the facility will be an important addition to the work now underway to upgrade IT infrastructure that supports welfare payments. The government is replacing a 30-year old system that delivers around $100 billion in payments to 7.3 million people each year.
“This is a secure, efficient, 21st century data centre that will work hand-in-hand with the welfare payment system we will be implementing over the coming years,” Minister Payne said.
“The department administrators over $159 billion in government payments to millions of Australians so it is absolutely imperative we have measures in place to ensure we can deliver vital government services 24/7."
Minister Payne said the consolidation of the department’s data centres from seven down to two state-of-the art facilities will give the department added capability to support the government’s digital transformation agenda and ensure that customers have access to important digital services at any time of their choosing.
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