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PNG Digital Transformation Policy to Define Future of National Data Centre

 Minister, today, announced that the Ministry for ICT is currently reviewing the justification for the National Data Centre.

“Since taking office in late 2019, I have held in abeyance my concerns on the current condition of the National Data Centre to allow my Acting Secretary Steven Matainaho time to address the matter through policy”  

Steven Matainaho Secretary for ICT
“The National Data Centre was deployed in 2011 under previous Government through a China – Exim Bank Loan arrangement. Huawei Technology was adopted. At the time, of course, the technology was considered state-of-the-art and at its peak, over 40 public service agencies were connected and using various aspects of the service.”

“The deployment of the National Data Centre was a component of the Integrated Government Information System Project (known as IGIS) and the intent of the Project was to, as a start, provide audio/video conferencing facilities, a central redundancy (data backup) service, and internet services for government agencies.”

“At the moment, the National Data Centre is over 10 years old and technology has evolved. We only have a handful of government agencies using the service. We also have a small but faithful team doing their best to maintain internet and website hosting services”

“Personally, I find it very disappointing that Government, at the time, committed to such a large amount of funding only to see these service decline over a period of time.”

“Over the years, poor funding allocation for maintenance coupled with lack of initiative to develop a policy framework around it has led us here. To some extent, we can conclude that is truly is a failed investment”

“Let me however take this time to announce that subject to approval of the draft PNG Digital Transformation Policy, the Marape-Steven Government through this Ministry will commence public consultations on the Public Service Digital Transformation Bill 2020. The Bill will define a policy framework across a wide range of areas including digital infrastructure and digital government services. The Bill will set the standards for data, network, cybersecurity, and accessibility, amongst others.”

“One of the key aspects to consult on within the ICT Community is the justification of the National Data Centre. We should also consider cloud solutions offered by the big players in the global market such as Amazon and Microsoft.”

“As you can see, it is important that we allow policy and legislation to guide us before we make investment decisions. We are now doing this through the formulation of the PNG Digital Transformation Policy and the consequential Bill”

Minister Masiu took the moment to specifically emphasize that critical ICT infrastructure should not be used for geopolitical point scoring. 

“Our national issues are our business and must not be used to fit any other narrative”


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