Updated Data centre supplier Ark has backtracked over the length of a G-Cloud deal with the Ministry of Defence - insisting the contract is actually for two years not ten, as it had originally indicated.
Ark initially told us the deal is a "major consolidation and centralisation project" which will "generate significant savings to the public purse in energy costs over the next 10 years."
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But under the G-Cloud the maximum length of contracts is for 24 months, so the deal appeared to flout those regulations.
An Ark mouthpiece updated El Reg with the following statement:
“Ark Data Centres would like to clarify that its deal with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is a standard two year G-Cloud contract which will see the MoD moving into an existing Ark Data Centre.
"The reference to ‘ten years’ does not in any way relate to the length of time of the contract, but to the carbon savings that can be expected over a ten-year period as a result of transitioning to this type of state-of-the-art data centre solution.”
We are awaiting further clarification as to how the 10 year calculations were made on the basis of a two-year contract.
But concerns have also been raised that this is a co-location deal, which has in fact been banned under the terms of the G-Cloud framework.
Mark Craddock, former lead for G-Cloud buyers, said: "[The Cabinet Office] needs to provide more education to buyers. Assurance should be crowd sourced".
The MoD ought to have used the Crown Hosting framework (allowing government agencies to call on data centre services from a central cloud framework), a policy which appears to have stalled.
Liam Maxwell, government CTO, and under whose remit the Crown Hosting service falls, described government hosting as "one of the largest categories of technology spend in government."
Earlier this year Ark Data Centres was awarded an £11m contract for data centre services to the Ministry of Justice's Future IT Sourcing programme - designed to break up the department's large IT contracts into "towers".
Ark originally said the 10-year deal would save 14000 tonnes of carbon, but now claim that over the two years of the contract, the MoD can expect to save 2,800 tonnes of carbon.
"If they didn’t renew with Ark and moved to a new platform the savings would obviously be different. However, Ark would have made an impact on the MoD’s savings through the first two years of the contract being with their state-of-the art data centre." ®