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MPSA approves implementation of Public Service Cloud Computing Determination and Directive

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The Minister for the Public Service and Administration (MPSA), Ms Ayanda Dlodlo, has approved the implementation of Public Service Cloud Computing Determination and Directive by all government departments.

In a circular released recently to all Heads of national and provincial departments, the Minister said the Determination and Directive must be applied to all Cloud Services where government data is either stored or processed.

“The Determination and Directive is issued in terms of section 3(1) (f) (g) and (i) of Public Service Act of 1994. The purpose of the Determination and Directive is to provide clear guidance to public service departments on adopting and using Cloud Computing services and technologies,” she said.

Cloud Computing services can provide government departments with access to on demand ICT hardware and software resources over the internet. These include ICT resources such as computing power, data storage capacity, software services and operating system functionality.

These resources run on computer servers, storage devices and networking equipment located in physical data centers operated by a Cloud Service Provider (CSP).

“The economic efficiencies, privacy and information security concerns, environmental impact (carbon emissions) associated with technological practices as well as the general opportunities associated with technological developments particularly in the area of cloud  computing services, have further prompted the issuing of this determination and directive,” the Minister said.

According to Minister Dlodlo, where a department had implemented a cloud solution before the approval date of this Directive, the Head of Department must ensure that a risk assessment is conducted and a risk assessment report is tabled at the departmental risk committee.

She said the Head of the Department must ensure that all requirements of this determination and directive are met within 6 months of the approval and publication of this determination and directive.

Cloud computing is a model for enabling environment, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

This cloud model promote availability and is composed of three service and four deployment models.

The four deployment models are Public cloud, Gov Private Cloud, Hybrid cloud and Community cloud, while cloud service models are Software as a Service (Saas), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).