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CDDO aims to help PSN users migrate to alternatives

Connected network points
Image source: Brin

The Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) is aiming to help users of the Public Services Network (PSN) adopt alternative connectivity solutions.

This is the latest stage in its Future Networks for Government (FN4G) programme of encouraging public sector organisations to move away from the PSN.

CDDO has published a market notice for support in the effort, saying it wants to generate a set of resources that enable PSN users to adopt more modern ways to access networks, and to provide direct support to do this. The resources should be hosted on a publicly accessible platform which any PSN user who wants to migrate off PSN can access.

The notice states: “Suppliers of services, as well as both central and local government are entirely dependent on legacy, insecure and poor performing network architecture to administer essential services for citizens.

“Organisations are exposed to any performance or security issues from a network that was first introduced in 2008. With little to no transparency on use or cost, they are also forced to continue to pay inflated charges to a small group of PSN suppliers.

“Departments have to wait months to set up network connectivity on the PSN, causing delays in onboarding any new services. The delays and complexity of implementing these changes risks extending the life of existing legacy systems, exposing departments to unnecessary risks and, as a result, increased support costs.”

Earlier work

It adds that work has already been done in various areas, including an outline scope and technical roadmap for this financial year, proof of concepts for other solutions, the gathering of evidence on migrations and identification of key product owners to target.

The Government Digital Service first indicated in 2017 that the network would not be necessary in the long term because of improved standards around issues such as email security, transport security and virtual private networks. The market notice suggests that an earlier indication that PSN could close during 2023 was premature.

CDDO has indicated that there are 484 public sector organisations that connect core business applications to the PSN, which was introduced in 2008.

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