Minister McGrath launches guidance to support public procurement of cloud computing services

Published on: 12 February 2021

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath TD and Minister of State for Public Procurement and eGovernment Ossian Smyth TD, have welcomed the publication of new guidance from the Office of Government Procurement supporting the deployment of cloud computing across the public service.

The Office of Government Procurement’s Cloud Services Procurement Guidance Note has been issued to assist public sector organisations to navigate the complexity associated with contracting for cloud services and to manage the key contractual and commercial differences between traditional ICT contracts and cloud services contracts.

Public sector organisations can use the guidance note as a useful, easy-reference toolkit to assist them when preparing tender documentation and service contracts. The detailed information contained in the guidance note will help public sector organisations to avail of the value in cloud services through tendering in an informed manner and in compliance with public procurement regulations.

The note builds on existing guidance issued by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer that recognises the many advantages and benefits associated with the use of cloud computing services and that recommends deployment of cloud solutions for all new and renewed Government systems.

Speaking at the launch, Minister McGrath said: “the Programme for Government sets out a clear ambition for Ireland’s digital future. The public service needs to be at the forefront of driving digital transformation and delivering greater integration of digital services and significant progress has been made in the past twelve months in facilitating more people to interact online with public services. Supporting more public bodies in making an early move to cloud computing will help to further deliver on this ambition.”

Minster of State Smyth said: “Over the last year, digital solutions have been at the forefront of delivering innovative services to the public. Cloud computing underpins our ambitions in this area by providing a cost-effective and resilient way to avail of scalable and flexibe ICT infrastructire and applications. This new guidance from the Office of Government Procurement provides public bodies with the tools they need to enable them to successfully procure cloud services when replacing existing or implementing new ICT systems.”

Government Chief Information Officer, Barry Lowry said: “the guidance from my office is clear on the need for a more proactive approach to embracing the opportunities presented by cloud computing. I welcome this advice from colleagues in the Office of Government Procurement which provides public sector organisations with a practical, easy-to-navigate checklist to assist them in procuring cloud computing services.”