Scoping Study for the Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) - Frequently Asked Questions

About ICON

1. What is ICON?

The Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) is a collection of secure point-to-point optical fibre connections and related physical infrastructure between Australian Government agency buildings in Canberra. The connections are speed and protocol independent where agencies can determine the technology that best meets their individual requirements. ICON is an administered Commonwealth asset and is maintained by the Department of Finance (Finance). More information can be found on the Finance website.

About the scoping study

2. Why is the Government conducting the scoping study for ICON?

The ICON scoping study was announced as part of the 2014-15 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The scoping study is consistent with the third phase of the Smaller Government reforms which is designed to cut waste and duplication, while improving the efficiency, effectiveness and focus of the Commonwealth public service.

3. What is being considered in the scoping study?

The scoping study will consider options for the future management, operations and ownership of ICON. In addition, the scoping study will assess the likely sale environment for this business operation. The Government will consider the recommendations of the scoping study in the first half of the 2015 calendar year. No decision on the future ownership of Intra Government Communications Network will be made until this time.

4. Who is undertaking the scoping study?

The Department of Finance is responsible for overseeing the scoping study and is receiving assistance from independent expert advisers. KPMG and King & Wood Mallesons have been appointed as the business and legal advisers respectively for the scoping study. The Minister for Finance announced the appointment of these advisers on 31 March 2015.

5. Will key stakeholders be consulted as part of the scoping study?

The Department of Finance is responsible for overseeing the scoping study and will engage and consult with key stakeholders, including ICON users.

6. How much will the scoping study cost?

The Department of Finance will fund the scoping study from existing resources.

7. When is the scoping study expected to be finalised?

The Government will consider the recommendations of the scoping study in the first half of the 2015 calendar year.

About the outcome of the scoping study

8. Will ICON be sold?

The Government will consider the recommendations of the scoping study in the first half of the 2015 calendar year. No decision on the future ownership of Intra Government Communications Network will be made until this time.

9. How much does the Government expect to receive from the sale of ICON?

The Government will consider the recommendations of the scoping study in the first half of the 2015 calendar year. No decision on the future ownership of Intra Government Communications Network will be made until this time.

10. Are there any legislative barriers that would need to be cleared before a sale of ICON can proceed?

The relevant legislative and policy frameworks will be examined as part of the scoping study.

11. Will private sector operation or ownership of ICON compromise the security requirements of ICON users?

The scoping study will look at the business and security environment, operations and contractual arrangements for ICON. This will involve engagement with ICON users to determine their security requirements.

Contact for information on this page:  scopingstudiestaskforce@finance.gov.au

Last updated: 02 April 2015