Feds prepare multi-million dollar CabNet revamp

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Feds prepare multi-million dollar CabNet revamp
Parliament House, Canberra

The Federal Government's classified network for circulating Cabinet-grade communications is set for a multi-million dollar revamp.

The project, first reported by Intermedium, was flagged at a Secretaries Information Governance Board meeting last month.

Minutes of the meeting revealed that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) was developing a business case to redevelop CabNet because it "no longer [met] user expectations of a modern IT system".

CabNet was built on a Lotus Notes messaging platform in 1998 and redeveloped in 2003 to upgrade supporting server infrastructure and add a separated database for the National Security Committee.

For the upcoming upgrade, PM&C inked $721,000 worth of deals with Clicks Recruit and Strategem Computer Contractors for business analysis and project management.

CSC previously supported the system under deals worth a total of $3.7 million; most recently under a five-year support, maintenence and enhancement deal that expired in October 2011, reported Intermedium.

Business case

Government agencies have so far paid PM&C between $11,000 and $25,400 a year to use CabNet, which has netted the department a total of $1.2 million since 2006.

PM&C said in its 2000-01 annual report that CabNet had improved the efficiency of the Cabinet Secretariat, Ministers' offices and departments, by allowing them to print cabinet documents in-house rather than having documents physically copied and delivered centrally.

The new system is expected to be mobile-friendly, letting Ministers access cabinet materials via their iPads.

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