Guidance

Public Services Network

Information about the Public Services Network.

Overview

The Public Services Network (PSN) will substantially reduce the cost of communication services across UK government and enable new, joined-up and shared public services for the benefit of citizens. PSN is creating one logical network, based on industry standards, and a more open and competitive ICT marketplace at the heart of the UK public sector.

Both the PSN connectivity and the services frameworks are now operational; the associated documentation is available on the Government Procurement Service (GPS) website.

PSN is at the heart of one objective of the Government ICT Strategy. PSN provides an assured network over which government can safely share services, including many G-Cloud services, to collaborate in new ways, more effectively and efficiently than ever before.

This is the latest Programme Director's interim update (August 2013) (PDF, 119KB, 4 pages)

Browse Public Services Network: FAQs (PDF, 519KB, 16 pages) for more information.

Start using PSN as a customer

To start using the PSN as a customer (buyer), go to the GPS website.

Customers (buyers) are usually local authorities, central government departments, or other public sector body.

The guide, What is a PSN service explains more about the kinds of services you can purchase and the level of accreditation of those services.

Transfer to PSN for existing customers (GCF or GCSX)

On 1 February 2013, we:

These steps have been undertaken to facilitate transition to PSN and should not have an immediate impact on business.

A first step that GCF customers can take to begin preparing for PSN is to switch from the GSi code of connection to PSN. Providing there are currently no significant IA issues with your environment, the transition should be straightforward. Once certified for PSN, the annual CoCo assessment charge you already pay allows you to connect either to GSi or to the PSN, and so it allows you to switch to PSN when it is most convenient for you.

You will need:

For further information on the transition to PSN please see the Technical transition guidance , and PSNA Notice 1 of 2012: migration to PSN CoCo, Update.

Help with making a Code of Connection submission

To help with your submission use this example of a completed PSN Code Template Annex B, to guide you when you complete the template for your own organisation. It should be noted that it is an example: your systems, organisation and way of working will be unique to your organisation and this should be reflected in your submission.

For more help, contact the PSNA Compliance Team directly at psna.compliance@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk.

Using the PSN as a customer (buyer)

Government Procurement Service supports procurement professionals through the award and management of contracts within common categories of spend for use across the whole public sector. These deals are made available through the use of a suite of eEnablement tools providing efficiencies in procurement processes and reducing the resource requirements within individual organisations.

Customers wishing to access services under the PSN frameworks should use the GPS eSourcing suite to undertake a further competition. To maximise value, GPS will also be managing and running a series of Aggregated Further Competitions. Further details of these events will be available on the GPS website.

If you are planning to buy telecommunications services through national PSN frameworks established by the Government Procurement Service, these documents offer an overview of the services available via these frameworks and a guide to using them.

Start using PSN as a PSN service provider

PSN service providers are organisations supplying or approved to supply ICT services over the PSN. The supplied PSN service is usually one of the following types:

  • wide area network
  • broadband
  • telephony and call centres
  • public videoconferencing service
  • access to commercial databases
  • secure conferencing services
  • CCTV
  • access to a government database
  • data transfer via email
  • virtual private network

Many providers have submitted their services for PSN Compliance, even ahead of securing a clear procurement channel. Here is a list of service providers who are in the process of achieving PSN Compliance.

Applications from service providers for PSN Compliant services are welcome at psna.compliance@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk. Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis. More information on the compliance process and the steps required can be found in PSN compliance process for suppliers (PDF, 405KB, 7 pages)

BSI standard 27001 has been revised. Read about the Impact of BSI 27001 on applications to join PSN (PDF, 71.2KB, 2 pages)

PSNGB industry association

The PSNGB is a trade association for any organisation or individual that provides PSN services to the public sector. It brings together the collective strength of suppliers in ways that allow them to change their market place for the better. The PSNGB continues the great work that has already been done in order to get the Public Services Network this far. PSNGB will continue to work to ensure that the Public Services Network is an efficient, dynamic and vibrant market place.

The transition to PSN

Central government departments and organisations across the wider public sector are advancing with plans to transition to PSN connectivity. We have produced and distributed a series of communications messages that will help ‘walk’ organisations through the transition process. Links to the messages are provided below and are in date order.

If your organisation is transitioning to PSN connectivity and you would like to speak to somebody who can help with any questions you may have, please contact your organisation’s nominated contact from this PSN project managers contact list (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 242KB)

GSI Convergence Framework and the transition to PSN Connectivity (5 March)

The letter below, signed by senior members of the GPS and PSN teams, sets the timeline and options for GCF customers to review their plans for obtaining PSN connectivity to ensure they retain access to GCF Services.

Options for transitioning to PSN Connectivity (15 March)

The letter below, signed by senior members of the GPS and PSN teams, sets out the options available for organisations transitioning to PSN connectivity, the critical timeline and asking for a response by 5 April with an indication of their transition approach.

Supporting you through your transition to PSN connectivity (15 April)

The letter below, signed by senior members of the GPS and PSN teams, describes the steps organisations need take to complete their transition to PSN connectivity. It also explains the newly-launched PSN ‘drop-in’ calls that will enable those involved with an organisation’s transition to talk with PSN experts.

PSN Compliance - a zero tolerance approach to the PSN Code of Connection (29 April)

With PSN comes a significantly greater sharing of services and we need to ensure that connected organisations meet the agreed standard if we are to maintain trust across the infrastructure. As a result we need to substantially tighten and enforce the Compliance process. The letter below describes the Compliance regime, the escalation and termination procedure and where access to supporting materials can be found.

Choosing your transition date (20 May)

The letter below requests organisations to advise us on which date they plan to transition to PSN connectivity. It asks for a response, via a link to a webform, by 14 June.

Tell us about the application services you use across GCSX/GSi (10 June)

The letter below asks organisations to identify and advise us which application services their organisation consumes across GSi (GSI, GCSX, GCX and GSE). It asks for a response, via a link to a webform, by 28 June.

Update on the zero-tolerance approach and the feedback received (27 June)

The letter below provides organisations with an update of the compliance position and addresses a number of the questions raised. It also outlines the assistance available.

Supporting your transition with IA assistance (31 July)

The letter provides a reminder to transitioning organisations that we have specialist Information Assurance (IA) support within the PSNA team, which is available to support PSN compliance or completing your Code of Connection (CoCo) documentation.

First PSN transitions successfully completed (31 July)

The letter announces the first local authorities to transition to PSN connectivity.

Unmanaged end-user devices (6 August)

The letter details the issues around unmanaged end-user devices, presents a handling approach and includes a paper from CESG which describes the architectures in more detail.

PSN Compliance IA Support and Unmanaged Endpoints – daily ‘drop-in’ calls (8 August)

The letter launches a new series of daily ‘drop-in’ calls for customers to get support and advice on high-level architecture issues.

Unmanaged Endpoints – Gap Analysis (12 August)

The letter introduces an impact assessment tool that enables organisations to understand how well their existing deployment meets the short-term PSN Compliance requirements.

FAQs - BYOD and unmanaged devices

The following is a list of answers to frequently asked questions on the subject of unmanaged end-user devices and their use within local authorities. This document will be added to as new questions arise.

Update - reporting and compliance validation failures (19 August)

The letter highlights the completed documentation that is required from organisations for their compliance submission. It also introduces a ‘status update template’ to help organisations engage more easily with the PSN team and track status.

Action notice: Select/confirm your transition date (5 September)

This letter, sent to all transitioning local authorities, requests organisations to review their transition plans and confirm their transition date or provide a new date.

Action notice: Check, sign and return your new PSN Circuit Order Form (12 September)

This letter, sent to all transitioning local authorities, asks organisations to ensure their PSN Circuit order form is signed and returned before the deadline of Monday, 30 September.

The Baseline Personnel Security Standard [BPSS] and PSN (23 September)

This letter and the frequently asked questions (FAQ) document aim to provide further clarity of the requirements for the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) under the PSN Compliance regime.

Update: Compliance status update and a change to the drop-in calls (24 September)

This letter provides an update of the compliance situation and provides details of changes to the frequency of the drop-in calls.

Update: Latest transition date availability - transition date selection (24 September)

This letter and guide provide transitioning organisations with an update of the available transition slots to help with their planning. The guide is updated on a regular basis and organisations are asked to check this guide before confirming their transition date.

Note: this guide is no longer being updated. To get the latest availability please get in touch with your organisation’s nominated contact from this PSN project managers contact list (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 242KB)

Update: Revised compliance regime, further support and confirming your transition date (4 October)

This letter outlines revisions to the compliance regime. It includes details of the revisions along with information about the additional support we will be providing. It also requests organisations to confirm their transition date if they have not already done so.

Update: Compliance drop-in calls and new transition drop-in call (4 November)

These letters provide an update on the drop-in call series. One message invites customers with post-Christmas transition dates to continue to attend the Compliance drop-in calls. The second message introduces a new drop-in call for organisations transitioning before Christmas to answer transition-related questions.

Help architect the future: join the Local Authority Architecture design sessions (6 November)

This letter invites transitioning organisations to apply to attend a design session to look at how the business requirements of local authorities can best be met within the framework of today’s security demands.

Action notice: Tell us how IER DS is set up in your network (11 November)

Many organisations have indicated they are piloting or planning to use IER DS. This letter asks organisations to advise us how IER DS is set up within their network infrastructure. Organisations are asked to respond using an online form.

IP Address Allocation request and guidance

Current GCF customers should use the following form to request mapped IP addresses to support your GCF to PSN transition.

If you need support or guidance please contact your organisation’s nominated contact from this PSN project managers contact list (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 242KB)

Transition plans - October 2013 update

Both central and non-central government have advanced plans for transitioning to PSN; links to the latest high level roadmaps for both central and non central government are provided below. These roadmaps form a core element within an evolving market maturity picture which the PSN Programme has committed to publish and maintain under the direction of the PSN Programme Board.

This latest release not only demonstrates the significant traction gained in 2012 / 13 but also positions a number of major PSN procurement activities to be launched by Tier 1 departments in 2013/14, and sets out the wider ambition to capture the bulk of Tier 2 and Tier 3 organisations within central government.

The letter below, signed by senior officials in Cabinet Office, Connecting for Health and local government, articulates the current position with respect to plans for the transition of services currently provided via the NHS N3 network to the PSN and enabling local public sector organisations to more effectively and efficiently deliver joined up public health services.

PSN Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) approval guidance - March 2013 update

The attached supplementary guidance has been produced by the PSN Programme to assist central government organisations. This guidance complements the latest Cabinet Office Spend Controls guidance framework, currently at Version 3.1. The ICT Spend Control (Section 8) content makes specific cross reference to the PSN SRO control requirement.

The full Cabinet Office Spend Controls can be viewed here.

PSN Standards

PSN Standards enable the sharing of services whilst ensuring a consistent level of information assurance.

Document map

Governance standards

Technical interoperability standards

Service management standards

IT Health Check (ITHC) guidance

Security standards

Security guidance

Security strategy

PKI strategy, policy and requirements

IP Address Allocation request and guidance

The PSNA has a very limited stock of IPv4 addresses for use on the PSN by the Public Sector.

Current GCF customers should use the following form to request mapped IP addresses to support your GCF to PSN transition.

Supporting documents (these are not PSN standards)

Note that the documents below are provided for context. These documents have not been updated since July 2011, and are due to be updated in the near future.

Standards evolution

The anticipated next step in the evolution of the PSN standards is discussed here.

To take part in the review of these changes, you may participate in PSN Consultations. Please email psna@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk for access to our consultation tool.

Industry support for PSN standards

PSN is an exemplar of government and industry collaboration in the UK telecommunications sector. PSN Standards are developed through close collaboration with industry to minimise the need for additional capital investment. As industry players, normally intense rivals, develop PSN standards, brands “are left at the door” for the common good of the UK.

PSN and Fire and Rescue Services

The PSN team are currently engaging with the Chief Fire Officers Association in relation to Fire and Rescue Services transition to the PSN. The links below provide useful information on the PSN, how it can support initiatives to improve Fire and Rescue Service operations and how it can be obtained. If you are responsible for or have an interest in Fire and Rescue Services ICT and/or service improvements enabled by a heightened ability to interact securely and reliably with other fire services as well as the wider public sector you should read these.

The Cabinet Office PSN Team and CFOA will be delivering a series of regional workshops in March 2013 aimed at raising awareness and understanding of PSN and how it can be utilised. Find out details, dates, venues and information on how to register to attend.

Public Sector Internal Identity Federation

Contact us

General Communications with the PSN Programme and PSN Authority:

PSNA Compliance Team, for compliance requests and questions regarding compliance:

PSNA Service Bridge, for major incidents and security incidents:

Below is a list of the most frequently used and referenced documents used by organisations transitioning to PSN.

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