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New Zealand Discontinues Government Shared Network
By Alice Kok | 4 February 2009
State Services Minister Tony Ryall has announced that the government’s Government Shared Network (GSN) is to be discontinued because it is financially unsustainable. Participating government agencies will be moved to a new provider in the private sector.
The Government Shared Network is a network linking government agencies with high speed internet and telecommunications services. It was previously touted as more cost effectively and was meant to improve the delivery of information and services to the New Zealand public.
GSN has been operational since 2007 and is currently used by sixteen agencies providing connections to around 130 government offices.
Ryall says, “The previous government wrote off US$5.4 million from the GSN project in the 2007/2008 financial year. The project had been running at a considerable financial loss ever since it became operational—losingUS$358,000 per month. Despite that the previous government had planned to carry on with it.”
“We are taking the earliest practical opportunity to begin shutting it down. All public service agencies need to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and focus on high value and high performance programmes.”
The State Services Commission will oversee a managed exit of government agencies from the GSN, working with existing users to put in place a single procurement process for a replacement provider. This will be done with the aim of minimising costs. The exit from GSN is expected to take 12 months.