Minister for Information and Communication Technology and Member for South Bougainville Hon. Timothy Masiu, today announced that the Ministry for ICT is currently reviewing the justification for the National Data Centre.
The National Data Centre was deployed in 2011 under previous Government through a China–Exim Bank Loan arrangement. Huawei Technology was adopted.
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. However only a handful of government agencies are using the service which currently has a small but faithful team doing their best to maintain internet and website hosting services.
Over the years, poor funding allocation for maintenance coupled with lack of initiative to develop a policy framework around it has led to the review. The Minister even going as far to state that “to an extent we can conclude that is truly is a failed investment.”
The approved draft PNG Digital Transformation Policy, under the Marape-Steven Government through the ICT 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.